On December 19, the Sierra Club Foundation announced that Juan Martinez, above, has become the newest member of its Board of Directors. At 27, the native of South-Central Los Angeles becomes the youngest member of the Foundation's board.
"It's an honor to be part of an organization where I've gone from being a participant to now sitting on the board," Martinez says. "The Sierra Club deals with environmental issues, but ultimately these are human issues. The environment affects people's lives, and we can improve people's lives for the better. I hope to represent the heartbeat of the environmental movement on the Foundation's board."
Martinez first became involved with the Sierra Club as a participant in Building Bridges to the Outdoors while in high school in South Central L.A. He worked his way up to the position of youth volunteer coordinator, and went on to join the Sierra Student Coalition's executive committee and helped construct the organization's policy.
"The Sierra Club is a big part of my personal story and a significant part of my life," Martinez says. "So many of my friends and mentors are part of the Club. I feel I can point to almost anyplace in the country and find people who are part of this tribe and the fight to improve the way of life for ourselves and future generations."
That's Martinez at center, below, as part of the Sierra Club contingent at the 2009 Breaking the Color Barrier in the Great Outdoors conference.