Andrew Martinez (’23) has come a long way from his first months on campus.
As a first-year student from Laveen, Arizona, Martinez initially struggled to find his place at Loras being so far away from home.
Today, his struggles are more centered around fitting in everything he has on his plate.
Among the numerous items on his weekly calendar, he serves as vice president of student government, a resident assistant, peer advisor, president of the Loras chapter of the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC), and a human resources intern at A.Y. McDonald in Dubuque.
“I was really involved when I was in high school and I told myself I was not going to do as much as in college,” Martinez laughs. “I was very wrong about that.”
When it comes to LULAC, Martinez is looking to help expand the focus of the growing organization beyond regular gatherings to educational and advocacy efforts across the campus and the surrounding community.
“Students are getting more involved so, as president of LULAC, I am hoping to add to that,” he said. “We can not only focus on the cultural events but the advocacy and activism aspects of the organization. We have a full executive board this year, so we hope to bring in more members and new experiences.”
This past summer, he used his Valder scholarship to travel to Washington, DC to serve as a social policy government relations intern for Catholic Charities USA. While in the nation’s capitol, Martinez did advocacy work focused on key issues within the Latinx community, particularly when it comes to jobs and healthcare.
“It was the experience of a lifetime so far. I researched a lot of bills, sat through hearings, and attended meetings with legislators. I was even able to go to the Capitol and lobby in person. My coworkers kept asking me why I was so happy. It was because I never thought I would do this. It was amazing,” he recalled.
In addition to his already full schedule, Martinez is also the co-host of Loras’ bi-lingual podcast, Sabor Latino. Along with co-host Jimena Fierro-Perez (’24), he chats with different Latino students and alumni from Loras to discuss not only their Loras experiences, but also dig into cultural issues that impact the community.
As for his career path after graduation, Martinez is still waiting to see what his next step might be.
“I’m interested in working with students but also in working at a higher level for all students—not just in this community. There is time for all of that. We’ll see where I end up,” he said.