Sam Martinez ’17

The accounting major is using his financial savvy to help local high school students manage their money better. 

Sam Martinez ’17, an accounting major at University of Redlands, wants to pass his financial know-how to the next generation.

“Community service has always been important to me,” he says. “I wanted to continue that pursuit of helping others and giving back to the community.”

At Redlands, Martinez gets the encouragement he needs to pursue the service that’s so important to him. He's a director with CHAMPS, a mentoring program that matches University of Redlands students with high school students. "We prepare high school students here in the Redlands community for what's to come after high school and beyond," Martinez says. 

He started in the program as a volunteer and has moved up to a director. "I became a mentor with the CHAMPS program and I slowly started following in the steps of the directors," he says. "I really wanted to help CHAMPS in a bigger regard."

Now, beside passing his financial knowledge to his mentees, he develops lesson plans and activities aimed at teaching skills not offered in high school, such as leadership, college access and professionalism.

There's another more personal reason Martinez believes in the mentoring program. "I had such a strong support system throughout my high school experience, so I believe that it is only right to pay it forward," he says.

Support is one of the things he loves best about the University of Redlands. Because the campus and student body are small, "everyone supports each other and really looks after each other here," he says.