Economics major and mathematics minor Jesus Martinez ’19 has been awarded the Charles J. Ping Student Service Award, which is given to undergraduate students who demonstrate exceptional leadership and distinguished service to their communities.
Sponsored by Ohio Campus Compact (OCC), the Charles J. Ping Student Service award acknowledges undergraduate students throughout Ohio who have gone above and beyond in their commitments to service and leadership in their communities.
Martinez was selected for the award in recognition of his extensive work founding and leading El Centro Volunteer Initiative (ECVI), a campus organization that partners with El Centro, a community-based nonprofit organization in Lorain, Ohio. El Centro provides a host of services to Lorain’s Latinx population, including case management, youth leadership programs, and General Education Development (GED) and English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) classes.
Through the efforts of Martinez and his peers in ECVI, the organization now has volunteers teaching weekly citizenship and ESOL classes. He was also instrumental in creating an English communication class at El Centro in addition to an ECVI grant writing and fundraising committee.
Martinez was nominated for the award by members of the Bonner Center, the Office of the President, El Centro, and his peers. “As a senior, I’ve dedicated a great deal of my undergraduate career toward being involved with the community,” he says. “It is nice to see the results of this involvement recognized statewide.”
Martinez was also selected as a Seretta Saylor Legacy Award winner, which provides $250 mini-grants to two Ping award winners whose work attends to economic, emotional, and environmental needs in their communities. Mini-grants are presented to a nonprofit of the winners’ choosing. Martinez has selected El Centro as the beneficiary of the grant, which will use the funding to support the purchase of a new projector, classroom supplies, and outside resources.
After graduation, Martinez will move to Columbia, Maryland, and work as a business development associate with TD Ameritrade. He hopes to continue similar community engagement work after Oberlin.
“As I relocate, I want to take the time to really get to know the new community that I will be a part of and see what roles I can take. One of my aspirations down the road is to serve on my local school board and make an impact that way.”
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