Christian Martinez was born and raised in Huntington Park, California, along with his older brother. His parents who are originally from Puebla, Mexico, met in college in the US. Christian says that from an early age, he was taught by his parents to appreciate the importance of an education, diligence, and determination—values they reiterated and embodied as they raised their family.
“My father was a machinist who taught me that if I set my eyes on a goal and pursue it doggedly, I will reach it,” he says, adding, “My mother was a school teacher who always encouraged me to challenge myself, so that I can be the best version of myself. It was their influence that pushed me to work hard and earn my place at a university.”
With this motivation, he went on to pursue his higher education at California State University, Long Beach, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in Creative Writing, with a minor in Literature. He says the consistent moral support he received from his parents, propelled him through various obstacles he encountered.
One of those obstacles was the difficulty of covering the cost of his education. He knew he would need to secure financial aid in order to complete his degree, and he sought out resources, accordingly. Ultimately, the financial assistance he found made all the difference in his ability to reach his goals. “If it wasn't for various scholarships and financial aid, I never would have been able to go to a university,” he says.
Today, Christian serves as an analyst in HSF’s Office Services group, where he supports the details of HSF’s daily operations. This includes a range of tasks that support the team’s on-site day-to-day needs, as well as preparation and follow up for in-office special events. He says he was attracted to HSF by a “sincere desire to help improve the lives of others in a significant way,” adding that he is encouraged by the positive influence HSF has on the community, and the “ways in which each and every student that is served will contribute to the country through their respective fields.”
Prior to joining HSF, Christian worked at Sure Prep LLC as a data entry clerk, where he was responsible for analyzing, comparing, and correcting tax documents for the nation’s top CPA firms.
Outside of school and work, he has been active in a number of community service activities. Following Hurricane Katrina, he worked with Habitat for Humanity in New Orleans’ Lower Ninth Ward, to rebuild houses that were destroyed by the storm. He also collects and contributes books for local classrooms, and volunteers his weekends at the Los Angeles Regional Food Bank.
He draws on his own experience to offer advice for students considering a college track. “Take great care in finding the college that best matches your goals,” he says. “Apply for every scholarship you can and always ask for help when you need it.”