2010 graduate now a case manager helping others throughout region
KOKOMO, Ind. — Ivy Tech Community College Kokomo Region will honor Yesenia Martinez of Logansport with the region’s 2017 Alumni Achievement Award during its commencement ceremony Friday, May 12. The award is presented annually by Ivy Tech Kokomo Region to honor a single alumnus or alumna who exemplifies a dedication to work, an appreciation of lifelong learning and a commitment to community.
The 2017 honoree, who earned her Associate of Science degree in Criminal Justice from Ivy Tech Community College in 2010, is being honored as a person who has demonstrated excellence in accomplishment and character as a woman, a Hispanic woman whose native language is Spanish, a first-generation college graduate, a working mother of small children, and a domestic partner.
In recognizing Martinez, College officials said her dedication to helping others and service to the disadvantaged (including Ivy Tech students and former students) and their families, principally in Cass, Miami and Howard counties, has fulfilled for her a purpose-driven professional career. Additionally, Martinez is currently active in mentoring people in disadvantaged immigrant populations in north-central Indiana and directing them to helpful resources.
Martinez’ accomplishments were never “a given.” She was a high school dropout with one child and another on the way and working at a food-processing plant in Logansport when she decided she wanted more out of life. First, she earned her GED and took an office job; then, after the birth of her third child in 2007, enrolled at Ivy Tech.
At graduation from Ivy Tech in 2010, Martinez was recognized as the Criminal Justice Program Outstanding Student and nominated for Chancellor’s Award. Since then, she has completed a Bachelor of Science degree in 2013 and a Master of Science degree in Criminal Justice and a Technical Certificate in Forensic Psychology in 2014, all from Trine University. She currently serves as a case manager with Counseling Partners LLC of Lafayette.
Michael Holsapple, Martinez’s faculty mentor at Ivy Tech, describes her as a “poster child” for all Ivy Tech stands for as an institution of higher education – significant life learning; minority achievement; and service beyond self as a responsible parent, domestic partner, citizen, and practicing professional, as well as distinguished attainment and representation of the Lumina Foundation and Achieving the Dream principles to which the College has committed itself.
And Martinez isn’t done. She is thinking about pursuing an additional graduate degree with the intention of working in Indiana’s public education K-12 system as a counselor. In nominating Yesinia for the Distinguished Alumni Award, her mentor said, “I know no more deserving recipient of this recognition, nor one who will more capably continue to invest in her community at large as a dedicated servant-leader.”
She and her husband, Luis Hernandez, have four children – Daniel Martinez, 14; Brianna Martinez, 12; Mia Hernandez, 11; and Alejandro Hernandez, 2.