James Martinez Takes Veterans’ Concerns to the Hill

Staff Highlights
A picture of James Martinez.

LBCC Veterans Services and Financial Aid Advisor James Martinez has been elected as a delegate to the National Association of Veterans’ Program Administrators (NAVPA), an organization for those who are involved in the operation of veterans’ affairs programs and/or the delivery of services to veterans as school certifying officials across the country.

Martinez will serve on the Board of Region VIII that represents Alaska, California, Hawaii, Idaho, Nevada, Oregon, Washington, American Samoa, Guam, Philippines, Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands, and the Wake Islands throughout this year, working with an Education Committee that seek out the needs and challenges that are faced by the Veterans of today.

“Essentially what I will be doing is serving as a contact to the Colleges within the Region to help them determine what they need,” said Martinez. “I say to them, ‘If you had five minutes in front of a Congressman, what should they know about the state of the student veteran in this country?’”

In February, Martinez will do just that as he heads to Washington D.C. with fellow delegates to present the legislative proposals that were recommended at the 2018 NAVPA conference.

Now in his sixth year working with LBCC’s Veterans Services and Financial Aid, the LBCC Alum is enjoying his day-to-day work while now advocating for student veterans on a national level.

“I like that I am working with a population that is grateful, responsible and truly have a burning desire to learn and succeed,” Martinez said. “I am glad that I get to help direct them so that they recognize the benefits and resources that are available to them.”

Martinez, who also teaches English as an adjunct faculty at Compton College, sees housing as the biggest concern for today’s student veteran.

“This concern coincides with the rest of the state,” he said. “But LBCC Veterans Services has taken strides to assess the situation. We make multiple contacts with our incoming veterans and we try to connect them with outside resources to give them the stability they need to do well in school.”