Nancy Martinez, 20 Latinitas Under 20

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Nancy Martinez, age 16
Hometown: Alexandria, VA
Nominated By: Noraine Buttar

Volunteer Experience:
Nancy volunteers for several organizations. She is one of two youth on the Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition of Alexandria’s (SAPCA) board of directors. She also participates in all of SAPCA’s activities. Nancy served as a Project Sticker Shock volunteer, where she worked with a team of youth and to put “STOP” stickers on multi-packs of alcohol to discourage people over the age of 21 from buying alcohol for those under the age of 21. Nancy also serves as a Peer Advisor, mentoring youth and helping them with their homework. She is the President of Latina Youth for Excellence (LYFE), a group at TC Williams High School in Alexandria VA, that promotes volunteerism among Latina youth. Nancy also serves as a Counselor Aide at a local recreation center where she facilitates a summer youth camp known as Kids Are Terrific (KAT) Camp. She teaches children about the dangers of alcohol, drugs and tobacco. SAPCA members benefit from Nancy’s input during board and quarterly member meetings. The community benefitted from her volunteer efforts during Community YouthMapping, where youth mapped resources and services provided for youth, children and families by organizations in the City of Alexandria. Younger children benefit from Nancy’s tutoring and mentoring. She has helped children read, write and do their homework.

Challenges Overcome:
Nancy was homeless for a period of time in 2010, and lived in a shelter with family members. Throughout this time, she volunteered for various projects like Community YouthMapping and Project Sticker Shock, served on the SAPCA board and worked as a Counselor Aide at the local recreation center.

Extra-curricular Activities:
Nancy serves on clubs in the school and organizations in the community. She enjoys reading science fiction books and dancing.

Qualities As a Role Model:
Young Latinas look up to Nancy. They see how much she has accomplished both in school and in the community through her volunteer efforts. They want to emulate her behavior and successes. Nancy shows that even substantial obstacles, such as being homeless, shouldn’t stop you from accomplishing your goals and giving back to the community.

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