Victor Martinez is a 2022-2023 Fellow at the Detroit Land Bank Authority. Learn more about Victor below.


Through my time in the Fellowship I’ve made connections with colleagues and supervisors which have helped me work out my future. If you, like me, have been struggling with direction after undergrad, then my story will resonate with you. 

As a Challenge Detroit Fellow, my host company, the Detroit Land Bank Authority (DLBA), has been an exceptional resource for my personal and professional development. I have met many people who are experienced in government and the public sector, two areas I am most interested in professionally. One of these individuals is my supervisor Raquel Figueroa. 

In my work with the DLBA, Raquel has been a mentoring figure. Not only has she (and the rest of my team) helped me navigate and learn about the contours of my work at the Land Bank, she has also provided me with insight about what direction I want to take for my future, not just in terms of a career, but also providing guidance about a potential graduate degree, and even ideas for a gap year to Europe that I plan on taking. All of this has helped me take genuine steps towards planning which direction I will grow after the Fellowship ends. 

Raquel is not the only individual at the Land Bank that has helped me in this way. My work with the fellowship has put me in contact with lots of people who have been similarly helpful and constructive.

 About Me: My name is Victor Martinez! I grew up in San Juan, Puerto Rico, and have been living in Detroit for four years. I went to school at Wayne State University, where I got my bachelors degree, majoring in Urban Studies. Currently I’m interested in reconstructive biblical archaeology—reconstructing the development and successive writing of the Bible using Archaeology. It has uncovered a number of fascinating anthropological and sociological contexts for the growth and development of bronze age Israelite society and the Mediterranean world at large. From a political science perspective, the insights into the development of one of the first fully monotheist belief systems and the context that shaped it.

Why should someone apply to be a Fellow?

I would encourage you to apply to be a fellow because it’s an excellent opportunity to develop personal and professional skills and connections which will last a lifetime. It’s given me direction post-graduation where there was none prior.