Eva Martinez – Community Engagement Manager

Eva Martinez is the Community Engagement Manager for the Early Learning Neighborhood Collaborative and has been with the organization since it opened in 2011. Eva began her career in the education field at the age of 15 working for a summer migrant program. As a child of parents who spoke only Spanish and a father who was illiterate, Eva was able to relate to the hardships they experienced. Observing what her older siblings and parents had experienced growing up in the similar environment, she could empathize with families, their struggles with poverty and language that impacted their lives. Eva continued to work for the Summer Migrant Programs all through her high school years and even returned several summers as she grew into adulthood.

Eva moved to Kalamazoo in her twenties and began her experience working with urban families. Eventually, she ended up working in parenting program for young moms at the Kalamazoo Public Schools for thirteen years. She continued to take classes in business and early childhood, and by 1999 had acquired 90 credit hours at a community college. But her second passion resurfaced and she took a big jump to acquire her Bachelors in Fine Arts at Kendall College of Art and Design in Grand Rapids.

Upon graduation, she was able to practice her art and combine it with her love for children in the Roosevelt Neighborhood. Using her art skills as a tool, she was able to engage women and youth of all ages, connecting with families throughout the Grand Rapid’s neighborhoods. Eva’s career at the Early Learning Neighborhood Collaborative, has given her the opportunity to showcase her skills as an advocate for the most vulnerable families and their children. Eva enjoys helping vulnerable families, canning and shopping.

Eva Martinez is the Community Engagement Manager for the Early Learning Neighborhood Collaborative and has been with the organization since it opened in 2011. Eva began her career in the education field at the age of 15 working for a summer migrant program. As a child of parents who spoke only Spanish and a father who was illiterate, Eva was able to relate to the hardships they experienced.

Observing what her older siblings and parents had experienced growing up in the similar environment, she could empathize with families, their struggles with poverty and language that impacted their lives. Eva continued to work for the Summer Migrant Programs all through her high school years and even returned several summers as she grew into adulthood. Eva moved to Kalamazoo in her twenties and began her experience working with urban families. Eventually, she ended up working in parenting program for young moms at the Kalamazoo Public Schools for thirteen years. She continued to take classes in business and early childhood, and by 1999 had acquired 90 credit hours at a community college. But her second passion resurfaced and she took a big jump to acquire her Bachelors in Fine Arts at Kendall College of Art and Design in Grand Rapids.

Upon graduation, she was able to practice her art and combine it with her love for children in the Roosevelt Neighborhood. Using her art skills as a tool, she was able to engage women and youth of all ages, connecting with families throughout the Grand Rapid’s neighborhoods. Eva’s career at the Early Learning Neighborhood Collaborative, has given her the opportunity to showcase her skills as an advocate for the most vulnerable families and their children.

Eva enjoys helping vulnerable families, canning and shopping.