Student Spotlight, November 2012
Sac State Senior Tammy Martin is driven by her passion to help people help themselves.
In the serendipity of undergoing a corporate merger and finding a bakery for sale, Tammy once changed professions, which enabled her to get more involved in her community. For two and a half years, Tammy owned The Nook Café and Bakery, which was a place for people and organizations to come together and network. According to Tammy, owning her own business allowed her to become a “catalyst for change in my own little community.”
While in Wisconsin, Tammy served on the executive board for the Salvation Army, an organization she loves working with as she feels they don’t just give a handout, they give a helping hand up. When Tammy later relocated to California she volunteered up to 40 hours a week, primarily for organizations she felt believed in people in and in helping them get second chances. Prompted by her desire to turn her volunteer experience into a career, Tammy pursued a degree in Social Work and a minor in Psychology at Sacramento State. As a former service learning student in Social Work 95, Tammy felt the best part of her academic experience was working with populations and non-profits she'd never been introduced to before.
On campus, Tammy is a member of the Food and Nutrition Club and the Social Work Honors Society, a new student Orientation Leader, and a Peer Mentor in the Social Work Student Association. As an Orientation Leader and Peer Mentor, Tammy has the chance to interact with incoming and first year students. She encourages her first year students to volunteer, telling them, “Never think you need a lot of time, just a little time,” to make a difference, an idea that she embodies; despite all of her other commitments, Tammy can usually be found volunteering each week with organizations like the Gender Health Center in Midtown.
Tammy recently began participating with Community Engagement Centers’ Alternative Break and Sac State Serves programs. During her first Alternative Break in spring 2012 she participated in all five days of activities as well as stepped into the role of Team Leader for two of the days. As a Team Leader, Tammy was able to use her leadership skills to help ensure that volunteers stayed motivated and engaged throughout the day. Since then, she has also volunteered with Sac State Serves’ Chef Challenge, Girl Scouts’ Centennial Celebration, and Horse Rescue events.
When it comes to her service, Tammy said, “I don’t like to say ‘give back’ because I feel like I get more from the experience.” For her, the most rewarding things about volunteerism have been the good feeling it brings, the ability to learn from her different experiences, and the opportunity help others advocate for themselves. Through her service, Tammy believes she is, “just a catalyst” for others to help themselves, “the people [who are really] doing all the work.”
Tammy plans to graduate in spring 2013. Until then, she plans to “Keep volunteering … and keep encouraging others to get involved.”
Contributed by A. Hamilton
Each year, more than two thousand Sacramento State students, faculty, staff, and alumni participate in programs and projects sponsored by Community Engagement Center. Programs such as Alternative Break, Sac State Serves, and Service Learning fulfill our mission to facilitate learning and engagement by linking campus and community for mutual benefit. Through Spotlight, Community Engagement Center will highlight outstanding individuals and programs advancing community engagement in the Sacramento region.
last updated: 2/26/2013