Andy Martin

Graduate Student in Social Work

University of Southern California

“I'm a veteran who wants to fill the gaps in the lack of mental health resources for my fellow vets.”

MY ROUTE:

The Curved Road

MY WORK LIFE:

Graduate Student in Social Work

foundation interest 1 interest 2

My work allows me to combine the foundation of HELPING PEOPLE and the interests of MEDICINE and NON-PROFIT ORGANIZATIONS.


DAY IN AND DAY OUT

Mondays through Wednesdays, I intern at a homeless shelter from 7:00 a.m to 5:00 p.m. Each morning we serve breakfast to our patrons, who are mostly veterans. After that, we take on new cases and offer services and advice until lunchtime. After lunch, we work with our specific cases to help them find jobs and housing. After I leave the shelter, I have class from 6-9 p.m. I devote Thursday and Friday to working on my master's project, and on weekends, I try to get out of town and do some fishing.

SKILLS, TRAINING, OR EXPERIENCE NEEDED

You need that element of relatability to work with other veterans. I think that being a veteran yourself is crucial, because you have to have that connection and those shared experiences to get them to invest in you and your advice. You also need to keep an open mind.

EDUCATION TO GET HERE:

Graduate Student in Social Work

I RECOMMEND COMPLETING:

  • High School
  • Undergraduate -
  • Graduate -

What I studied STRONGLY RELATES to my work...

MY EDUCATION

  • High School -
  • Associate's Degree / Some College - Grossmont College

SOME HELPFUL FIRST STEPS FOR SOMEONE IN COLLEGE

No matter what career you pick, the most important thing on your resume is going to be your schooling. It seems like everyone has an undergraduate degree these days, so you should hands-down go to college, if you can.

HURDLES I OVERCAME

THE “NOISE” FROM MY PEERS

“You have a pretty good life and a college degree...why would you ever want to join the military?”

HOW I OVERCAME THE “NOISE”

A lot of my friends and family were concerned that I was going to leave this great situation behind to put my life on the line, but it's not in my personality to quit something once I've put my mind to it. I think that comes from my athletic background, where you're always pushing yourself to be better. I also have amazing parents that taught me that haters are always going to be out there, but you just have to focus on your end goal.

Service Background and Insight

What branch of the military did you serve in?

Army

When did you complete active military service (ETS)? Please specify the year (YYYY).

2014

What is the highest rank you reached while in the service?

E5

What are some tips you would recommend for someone transitioning into civilian life?

Definitely surround yourself with a support system, whether it's family members, loved ones, or fellow veterans. If you don't have one, join an organization-even something like a vets softball league-so you have support and positivity in your life.

As many as 400,000 service members live with the invisible wounds of war. Have you experienced PTSD, combat stress, or TBI as a result of your service?

PTSD

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