Celebrating National Women’s History Month
Considering Women’s History Month and International Women’s Day, Audelia Martinez should be in the spotlight for her continual contribution to her society and her efforts to pull community members into the light.
Nearly 30 years ago, Martinez became an advocate for her society — a community in the southernmost part of South Miami Dade County. Since then, she’s been tirelessly helping families and children. “The entire community needs to have advocates. I am a tireless advocate for the most vulnerable children and families. In my current position as the CFO/COO of Le Jardin Community Center, I ensure that funds are available for what children and families need,” said Martinez.
Not only these efforts justify her celebration, but also her efforts to help the community at large in numerous ways. “I have participated in innumerable food drives — especially with the onset of COVID-19—multiple diaper drives, toy drives for underprivileged children, and leveraging my connections to provide better services. I connect organizations with vulnerable children and families.”
Now a role model and mentor, Martinez brings her passion for education as an avenue for economic self-sufficiency as she encourages and motivates parents in the Head Start/Early Head Start program to follow in her footsteps. Martinez also provides leadership with a team of professionals as they help families access resources. “We are a diverse team of professionals, united by the passion to serve and focus on the well-being of families, ensuring they learn about child development and effective parenting skills in a research-based parent education curriculum.”
Within this space, Martinez helps parents find their own voices to advocate for their children in early childhood education and throughout their school years. “I was instrumental in securing a grant for parenting curriculum, and I was instrumental in implementing a Prenatal Academy for pregnant women and new mothers.” This academy connects women to ongoing prenatal and postnatal care, provides information and resources, and helps establish a support group among pregnant women and new mothers.
Martinez volunteers in multiple community organizations and humbly says, “I was humbled to be honored by the United States House of Representatives’ Debbie Mucarsel-Powell in October 2019 as a leader in community service.”
She continues, “I believe strongly in helping hands up, not a handout. My resolve to give back to the community is strengthened by each community connection I make, by each family I help, by each employee that I encourage. My community has always been a source of strength to me and I am passionate about giving back to this community.”
With the emergence of COVID-19, problems have been exacerbated with many families facing poverty, stress, the pandemic itself, homelessness, and unemployment. “When we collaborate with families, community members, partners, and other local agencies and businesses, we can identify common goals, align the families with a multitude of resources, and share data and information for continuous improvement and effective partnerships.” Most importantly, Martinez provides hope and a vision of opportunities.
“I am well-grounded in the principles it takes to support community growth and strive for the betterment of our children and families. I take the same approach with my team, discovering their untapped potential and qualities and supporting them as they become leaders. With encouragement, hope, and a supportive team, we make it possible for families to develop and grow.”
When it comes to being named Woman of the Month, Martinez says, “It is an honor to be celebrated. I am humbled to be acknowledged as an important contributor to the community. There are both known women heroes including Delores Huerta and Rosa Parks whom I honor, respect, and carry on their tradition. There are also unsung heroes including my mother who was an example and encouragement.”
Martinez continues to inspire others to act for the good of all, especially during the global pandemic. “COVID-19 has only exacerbated these barriers and obstacles. The biggest challenges remain childcare, the internet, food insecurity, and the uncertainty of vaccinations; and the scarcity of vaccines results in their being unavailable to the most vulnerable families.
She concludes, “If you believe in a cause, then you are already starting off on the right foot. Choose an organization or group that is in place to help others in your community. Become engaged with a group and a mission that you are passionate about. If more of us are engaged in the war on poverty, we will win.”
Haz clic para leer en Español: Durante 30 años, Audelia Martinez ha trabajado en el cambio