Martin Garcia '94
Martin grew up in Aguascalientes, Mexico and attended undergrad in Mexico. After working with his local Episcopal church he connected with the Disciples of Christ and through them he found his way to CST.
Martin has worked in the non-profit field for most of his career. He has worked at the YMCA, First 5 California, World Vision, Eastmont Community Center and Volunteer Los Angeles. He recently joined World Vision again.
As their Community Engagement Specialist for Southern California he presents different options for partnership for organizations and churches. He directs a youth empowerment program that trains facilitators/individuals on ways to engage their community and spot issues and then find solutions. The solutions are usually grass roots and involve advocating for legislative change. He also oversees disaster relief preparedness and training for local communities or churches on how to react with emergency situations.
We talked about his time at CST and I ask him who his favorite professor was. After much inner-debate he said "Marjorie Suhoki is where I really learned a lot because of her way of teaching. She’s very down to earth; she handles deep topics, but brings them down to a reality level that is easy to comprehend. She discusses very abstract topics and people like Leonardo Buff; he’s a complex guy but she makes us understand him very well. I also really liked Dr. Frank Rogers."
His favorite memory of CST caused some controversy on campus. He remembers writing an article in The Theolog about tokenism. He felt that CST used the few Latino or African American students to fill photos of diversity that was not the reality of the student body. This got the campus community to think about how we need to be more inclusive and diverse; there was even a chapel session dedicated to diversity and inclusion. He likes this story because the outcome of his controversial article created positive change at CST.
He’d like to let his fellow alumni/ae know that World Vision is open to helping any church or organization in need. They provide toys, clothes, disaster preparedness, and youth empowerment training. Contact him if your church or organization is in need.
He is a member of the St. James Episcopal Church in South Pasadena. He, his wife and two daughters, one son and five cats live in the LA area. One of his cats is 20 years old.