Meet a PORCH Board Member: Linda Martinez-Cervantes

PORCH leadership

PORCH Chapel Hill-Carrboro works closely with social workers within Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools, as they help families who are fighting food insecurity apply to programs like Food for Families. 

Now, Linda Martinez-Cervantes – one of the social workers at Chapel Hill High School – has joined the PORCH board of directors. 

Linda’s family immigrated to Carrboro from Mexico when Linda was an infant, and she attended Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools from her earliest years: Morris Grove Elementary, Smith Middle School, and Chapel Hill High School. 

She first became familiar with PORCH as a high schooler – some of her classmates’ families were enrolled in PORCH’s programs, as were some of her extended family members. 

She was the first person in her family to graduate from college, attending Alamance Community College and Guilford College before heading to NC State for graduate school.

“Now I’m assisting families in seeing if they qualify for PORCH,” Linda says. 

Years ago, Habitat for Humanity of Orange County helped Linda’s family purchase their home. She remembers going to the RENA Community Center with her mother to set up books for book drives and help pack food for food drives. “We would also get some of the food,” Linda says. “We were in need, too.”

Linda says PORCH’s mission closely aligns with her commitment to social justice within the community. She looks forward to representing the Latinx population on the board. “That’s key – to communicate and understand that perspective,” she says. “I really like the connection PORCH has to community, and I like that it partners with the school system. People inside the schools really see which kids or families really need extra resources. That’s an awesome way of connecting. Adolescents can’t grow if they don’t even have the basic necessities.” 

Having recently finished her second year working at Chapel Hill High School, Linda says witnessing students’ growth is her favorite part of her job. 

“I really enjoy the students. …I like building connections with them, learning more about their family, and interacting with their parents,” she says. 

Linda lives with her husband and their dog in Burlington and spends her summers working with Grow Your World, a youth-centered, community-building organization based in Carrboro. 

Note: If you would like to learn more about opportunities to join PORCH’s Board of Directors or its committees, email