When Lucas Martin learned about the emphasis in Family Finance in the HDFS department, he loved the idea of “empowering others to make positive changes in their personal finances.” He quickly decided it was a good fit for him. Before graduation, Lucas completed an internship with Neighborhood Nonprofit Housing Corporation. He was able to use the counseling and credit skills he learned in the Family Finance program to help clients prepare for home ownership. Because of his effective use of skills and knowledge, Lucas was offered a position with the agency after graduation.
Lucas decided to return to school and earn a Master’s degree through the HDFS department. After completing that degree in 2012, he has held positions as an assistant professor with USU Extension, director of the Housing and Financial Counseling Clinic, adjunct professor with BYU Idaho, and is currently the director of Human Services at Bear River Association of Governments (BRAG).
About his current position at BRAG, Lucas said:
Our department assists households who are unsheltered, at risk of losing their housing, need heating/water utility assistance, tax preparation assistance, and other supportive services. Current collaborations with USU include working with Transforming Communities Initiative, utilizing volunteers for the annual point in time count, assisting USU with their free tax clinic, and providing opportunities for internships to social work students and HDFS students.
Lucas has benefited from the education he received in the HDFS department. He said: I use many of the skills from my undergraduate and graduate coursework in my current job. I utilize information and skills from the undergraduate housing policy and financial counseling courses every day working with clients. In addition, theory and policy courses from my graduate degree inform my program evaluation, grant writing, community engagement, and policy work in my administrative role. I love working with community partners to serve those who are most vulnerable in Box Elder, Cache, and Rich counties and am grateful for the role USU has played in my career.