From the Fresno area of California to Cambridge, meet Richard Martinez, the newest member of the Next Step Family! ➡️You can read our full interview with Richard in our bio link!
What excites you most about Next Step’s mentorship programs?
Richard: I am excited because those two programs allow me to wear two different hats. For STRIVE, I’ll be what I refer to as a “mentor’s mentor”, supporting our Program Coordinators at each of our three sites. While for MassSTYLE, I will be a mentor who is engaging with participants directly, providing support and guidance if needed.
Why did you choose a nonprofit career path?
Both my parents were educators – teachers. I could argue that teaching is not really a “for-profit” career, but I don’t think I even have to, really. In many ways, this is a large part of who I am. I want to help people. That’s all that really matters to me.
Do you have a favorite hobby during your free time outside of Next Step?
Richard: Aside from making music, I am really into Tabletop RPG’s. I was raised on a healthy fantasy diet growing up (my dad made sure I had read nearly the entire Tolkien library by the time I was 8) so that impacted a lot of my day-to-day thought and creativity.
So really, I am just an all-around huge nerd, but right before the pandemic I was able to play my first ever session of Dungeons & Dragons, and that was like coming home. It has provided such a beautiful outlet for creativity and has a very active and lively community. I believe everyone should give a tabletop RPG a try – when done right it can be an amazing space for people to open up and express themselves.
What’s a random personal factoid about you?
Richard: In what seems like another life ago, I won a Greco-Roman wrestling national title, and I also hold an honorary black bet in Escrima, the Filipino art of stick-fighting....