Catherine “Cat” Martin, a junior at El Molino High School, has been named as one of 15 winners nationwide of the third annual Yale Bassett Award for Community Engagement.
The award, which is given out by Yale’s Center for the Study of Race, Indigeneity, and Transnational Migration, is given to students who demonstrate a record of creative leadership and public service, academic distinction, interdisciplinary problem solving and experience addressing societal issues.
Martin has been involved in leadership classes for several years, having won elections to be a class officer almost every year since seventh grade. She was president of her freshman and sophomore classes at El Molino and just won the election to be president of her senior class next year. She spent her junior year being the school’s community service liaison, where she is currently managing a blood drive.
Martin also volunteers with the teen clinic in Forestville as a peer educator, working with patients in the clinic as well as teaching sex education in local schools.
“There’s a variety of presentations I do each year, like STIs, birth control and my personal favorite, consent,” she said.
In addition to her work at the clinic, she’s also junior commissioner on the county’s Commission on the Status of Women, where she has served on both the intimate partner violence ad hoc and the human trafficking ad hoc committees.
She’s also in the midst of starting a period club on campus to break down the taboos about menstruation and address the issue of period poverty for women who can’t afford menstrual supplies.
She recently returned from New York, where she was a youth delegate at the UN Youth Assembly.
Never one to sit still, Martin is also on El Molino’s varsity cross-country team and dance company. She also works at Target.
Martin is looking forward to visiting Yale this fall as part of a special weekend honoring Basset award winners from around the country.
Martin has her eye on Yale as well as several other top-notch schools and is excited about a prospective student meeting at Yale that’s happening on the same weekend as her Bassett awards visit.
“They don’t guarantee that if you win the award, you get into the school — they were very clear about that — but it’s on my list so I’m excited to check it out,” she said.