Diego Martinez

Major: Organizational Communication
Hometown: Riverside, CA
Class: Sophomore
Program Position: Co-Coordinator of Alternative Spring Break (ASB) | CAVE

How did you first get connected with CAVE (Community Action Volunteers in Education)?
During my second semester as a freshman I was looking for ways to get involved on campus. After talking to numerous people, I began to hear more and more about CAVE and what it stood for. Since I was looking to get involved during the spring semester I heard a lot about the Alternative Spring Break (ASB) Program. I applied and was accepted to be a volunteer and had the opportunity to travel to Lafayette, Louisiana, to work side-by-side with Habitat for Humanity. Traveling and working with Habitat for Humanity was one of the most eye-opening experiences of my life. I was so moved by my experience that I decided to become the co-coordinator for the upcoming Alternative Spring Break in order to give other students the same opportunity that I received.

How would you describe your role as the Co-Coordinator of ASB?
I have many roles in the CAVE office, including giving volunteers the best experience that is possible, and helping them to enhance their leadership and communication skills. Specifically for ASB, I’m responsible for securing the location (Chicago with Habitat for Humanity), budgeting and fund raising, recruiting and selecting ten participants, and preparing them for the trip.

What does working at CAVE do for you personally, professionally, or academically?
Working at CAVE has given me great skills and it continues to help me grow as a person. Every morning I look forward to coming on campus because I know at some point during the day I will be in the CAVE office. Being in CAVE motivates me to succeed in my classes and to be a better person because I know that everywhere I go, I am representing CAVE, and that means a lot to me.

What do YOU bring to the table in your position at CAVE?
I would say that I bring dedication and flexibility to this program. Although I came in with little experience with the program, I have managed to put together a solid program with the help of my peers.

What are your career plans and how does your job with the Associated StudentsĀ better prepare you for that path?
My career plans are to become an aquatics coordinator for city pools. An aquatic coordinator oversees every lifeguard during the summer at each public pool and during the off season they put together a proposal and budget to get funded for the upcoming summer. Another goal that I have would be to become an Activity Director for a high school. There I will be responsible for all the student activities and oversee student government. CAVE is preparing me by giving me organizational tools and by improving my communication skills with my peers as well as with outside organizations. The Alternative Spring Break Program has specifically given me the confidence to know that I can do anything I put my mind to.