TALK OF THE TOWN: Q&A with Drew Martin

DREW MARTIN

Elkton native Drew Martin has been president of Junior Achievement of South Central Kentucky since March 2015. He graduated from Western Kentucky University in 2011 with a bachelor of arts in political science and communication studies and in 2014 with a master of arts in public administration. As an undergraduate student, he was a Spirit Master, a member of Sigma Alpha Epsilon and president of the Interfraternity Council. After graduating, he was WKU's alumni programming coordinator and then assistant director of annual giving.

What is the purpose of Junior Achievement? How is it supported and who does it serve?

Junior Achievement's mission statement is to inspire and prepare young people to succeed in a global economy. Our organization sends real-life volunteers into the classroom to share our curriculum focusing on career/workforce readiness, financial literacy and entrepreneurship. Junior Achievement of South Central Kentucky is supported by 36 board members who represent numerous sectors and make my job easy on a daily basis, more than 400 volunteers in southcentral Kentucky and educators within six different counties. We could not operate and implement classroom programs in our community without the support of local businesses in this region, which include Houchens Industries, U.S. Bank, Wendy’s of Bowling Green and many, many others. JA serves 10,000 students in six counties.

What has Junior Achievement done to stay relevant in today's environment?

The great part about Junior Achievement of South Central Kentucky is that we operate as a federated structure with a national organization, JA USA, in which curriculum is constantly being redeveloped to fit the needs of our students. Also, as technology is changing over time, we try to adapt to those changes to stay relevant. On a local level, we are constantly interacting with superintendents, educators, volunteers and local businesses to make sure JA is a solution provider to meet the needs in our community.

To those graduating and rising seniors, what is your advice to them about college?

Take chances and get involved. There are so many opportunities in college for someone to grow both personally and professionally. If you chose not to do so, you may not get the chance to do so in the future.

Seeing that you were an active member of SAE, what is the value of becoming involved in Greek life on a college campus?

Being in a fraternity and a brother of Sigma Alpha Epsilon was the best decision I made in college. It created a group of friends and brothers that are still to this day my best friends. Also, being in the fraternity opened up leadership opportunities across campus, led to my first job at English, Lucas, Priest & Owsley LLP and provided me with great mentors along the way including Donald Smith.

What was it like growing up in Todd County?

Growing up in Todd County was your very typical small-town living. I come from a very large agricultural family, and both sets of grandparents still live right next door. They often played the babysitter role for myself, my two younger sisters and four younger cousins. Family and faith were both big parts of my life growing up and still are to this day. Todd County was a great place to live and to be raised. It taught me the importance of good work ethic, morals, values and the importance of friendship.

What is the social scene in Bowling Green like for a young professional?

I think the social scene in Bowling Green as a young professional is exactly what you make it. There are lots of opportunities for athletic events between WKU and the Hot Rods, always great locally owned restaurants to visit and many opportunities for concerts in the park during the summer. I am very fortunate enough to have a big group of friends that are from Bowling Green or are similar to myself and have stayed in Bowling Green post college. I have also been able to get involved in organizations like BGYP! (Bowling Green Young Professionals).

What do you do for fun?

I am a huge collegiate sports fan, so any chance I get to cheer on the Tops I try and do so. I enjoy running and have done several half-marathons and would eventually like to do a full marathon, enjoy traveling as much as possible, attend Broadway United Methodist Church and enjoy spending time by the pool or lake.