My name is Mark Martinez. I grew up in south Texas to a low-income, migrant farming family. I love hiking, fishing and hunting, however, I never hunt or fish just for the sport of it but to provide food for myself at times. I joined the Army at 17 years old, with two combat deployments to Iraq under my belt and having reached the rank of a non-commissioned officer at the age of 19. After my active duty service, I decided to take the next step in my career and attain a higher education degree. I graduated in December 18, 2018, receiving a bachelor’s in criminal justice. My family is a hardworking, tax paying family of six; my parents worked very hard as a low-income family to raise my three older brothers and myself and give us a better opportunity that they had. Their example and hard work has allowed me to achieve a lot and I still have plenty of goals left to reach, one of which is attaining my dream career as a park ranger and taking care of our environment.
I chose the Mt. Adams Institute’s VetsWork AmeriCorps program because it was a once in a lifetime opportunity to get my foot into the career path of my dreams and also help my community at the same time. Not to mention the skills and networking which I will attain along the way that will greatly help me progress both professionally and personally.
The thing that excites me the most about this position is the opportunity to work with people who share the same passion as myself for our outdoors and protecting them. Also, the fact that this is a big step into a career where I can advance in a field in which the scenery is one of the best in the world is just the cherry on top.