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30 Under 35 | Next question: Martin Ruiz, Jr., 28

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The Wenatchee Valley Business World’s “30 Under 35” program honored young community leaders early last year. We tap their thoughts in this Sunday interview series.

Martin Ruiz, Jr., 28

Director of the Low-income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP), Chelan-Douglas Community Action Council

After receiving his high-school diploma through the Wenatchee SkillSource program, Ruiz dedicated himself to a career of helping those in need. Since a teenager, he has assisted low- to moderate-income families with their energy needs and self-sufficiency. 

Q. What accomplishments are you most proud of?

A. My professional duties include assisting low- to moderate-income families in Chelan and Douglas counties with energy assistance. I am most proud of the work I do directly with these families under the mission statement of my organization. I firmly believe in the work we do and am proud to work under this mission statement: “To connect low- to moderate- income residents to resources which create opportunities to reach and maintain self-sufficiency. Our purpose is to facilitate federal, state, and local resources and engage local communities and businesses in meeting the needs and interests of the economically disadvantaged.”

Q. What are your goals?

A. One of my goals is to continue the work I do and meet the ever-changing needs of poverty in our community. I enjoy teaching families about energy conservation and how important it can be for our community.

Q. How are you contributing to the success of your community?

A. It is highly important to me that the community I live in is successful. I have dedicated myself to my work the past 9-1/2 years because I believe the work I do and the agency I work for helps the community to be successful. I contribute in the following ways: I’m an active member in the Wenatchee Downtown Kiwanis Club; I help organize the local Summer Food and Fun Program for grade school children that helps support those with food insecurity; I also teach the Power Your Resources class that helps educate families on the importance of energy conservation. I have actively volunteered with the Annual Letter Carrier Food Drive that helps support our Chelan and Douglas counties’ food bank.

— Compiled by Mike Irwin, World staff