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CHCI–Walmart Intern
Hometown: Beaumont, Texas
School: Lamar University
Major: Social Work
Placement: The Office of Rep. Sylvia Garcia

Vanessa Martinez credits her family as her biggest driving factor. Her parents are from Mexico and grew up with very little formal education, so they stressed the importance of her own education. Growing up, she had a clear path and goal that she wanted to achieve. She grew up wanting to be a nurse. Despite having naysayers, she decided to pursue that career choice.

She now attends Lamar University where she studies Social Work. After struggling with coursework and a short return home due to personal reasons, she found a new career path. Having witnessed violence and social injustice, Vanessa knew she wanted to do something about it. Social Workers are some of the biggest advocates out there.

Vanessa wants to be an advocate not only for her family but her community. As a CHCI intern, she hopes to learn about policies and grants that are helping underrepresented communities and those in need. She looks to gain valuable skills that will help her with the next step in her career.