Victor Valley College alumnae Ashley Martin was recently surprised by the Helpful Honda Guys, who awarded her $5,000 in school supplies for her efforts in promoting positive mental health awareness.
Martin, 33, attended VVC from 2005 to 2006 and is now a full-time theater teacher at Alta Loma High School in Rancho Cucamonga, where she has taught for seven years.
She was nominated for Honda’s Random Acts of Helpfulness program by Alta Loma high Principal Jason Kaylor, who said that Martin provides “above and beyond the typical theater arts program.”
“She creates a home for everyone and has built an incredibly inclusive program in which all students feel comfortable,” a news release states.
In a video on the SoCalHondaDealers YouTube channel, one of Martin’s students, Daimyan, says that she helped give him direction in what he wanted to do.
“She helped me develop real life skills that I am going to use getting out of high school into college and into the workforce,” Daimyan said in the video.
Some of Martin’s own skill development took place at VVC, where she decided she wanted to be a theater major and later transferred to California State University Fullerton.
“I had a really easy transition,” Martin said. “I think my theater classes at VVC created a really cool bridge between high school theater and the big program at Fullerton.”
While she studied at VVC, she also helped direct theater shows at her other alma mater, Victor Valley High School.
“It was great to get that experience at the same time because the coursework was so flexible,” she said.
While she attended Fullerton, Martin worked in the transfer center, advising high school students.
“That’s when I could really see the value of community college. For one, the affordability, and because so many of the classes transfer,” Martin said. “A lot of kids don’t really realize you can get a lot of foundation courses and a lot of your major courses to transfer at a community college.”
She continues to share this information and her own experience with her students at Alta Loma, along with teaching them valuable lessons in theater arts.
“They are taught how to work in teams, how to collaborate,” she said in the Honda video. “And these are the skills that are going to make them successful … Because they know how to be responsible. They know how to work with people.”
Martin’s hard work was rewarded in a way that’s especially meaningful to her: with much-needed supplies for her classes.
Honda presented her with everything she needs to help students create their own costumes for school productions, including electric sewing machines, sewing tools, and fabric.
“I really appreciate that (Honda) values teachers …” Martin said in the video. “You guys are making a real impact, so thank you for recognizing what we do.”