Through his connection with the UCLA baseball team and now UCLA Anderson, Rick Martinez has found his way back.
As a homeless Vietnam veteran in the 1980s, Martinez had to seek shelter nightly — sometimes at UCLA or on the grounds of the West Los Angeles Veterans Affairs campus. At one point, to get out of bad weather, he stayed warm and comfortable in the staircase at the top floor of a Holiday Inn alongside the 405 freeway.
“If anyone came, I was just going to say I was looking for the bathroom,” he recalled. “That turned out to be my home for about two months.”
The unpredictable symmetry of life was not lost on Martinez when he found himself decades later back at UCLA, this time as a participant of the UCLA Anderson School of Management’s Entrepreneurship Bootcamp for Veterans with Disabilities that ran July 9 to 17. And the hotel the program put him up in during the course? The Hotel Angeleno — formerly the Holiday Inn.
“So it’s come full circle; I’m home,” Martinez said.
Read the full story of Rick Martinez’s journey back to UCLA and through EBV in the UCLA Newsroom.