Nic Martinez: Passing on the Spirit of Service

OCE Community Profile Series
By Graham Bryant ’13 | July 30, 2013

When you think of the qualities and dedication exemplified by William & Mary’s many active citizen service-learners, the image you conjure is inevitably one of someone like Nic Martinez ’14. As president of the College’s Nu Rho chapter of Alpha Phi Omega, a national co-ed service fraternity and one of the largest community service organizations at William & Mary, Martinez helps coordinate the efforts of around 300 service-minded students dedicated to meeting the needs of Williamsburg and beyond. When not working with APO, the government major and economics minor frequently devotes his time to OCE projects and events, passing along his passion for service learning the College’s next generation of engaged scholars. We sat down with Martinez to talk about his experiences and future plans.

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Poverty, unemployment, and labor rights in Philadelphia, PA

Homelessness, poverty, and unemployment are substantial and persistent issues in most of the large cities, with big population and a limited number of jobs available, the job security is very low, workers rights are limited, and wages are under the minimum living level. Such situation creates significant inequality, unstable political situation with a number of riots and society/government clashes, increased levels of crime, and racial discrimination. On the individual level poverty is felt more acutely. In addition to the lack of stable income, or in many cases any sort of income, to provide the primary necessities, such as food and housing, poverty has a great effect on health, both physical and mental, life expectancy, and the access to education.

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Why I Would Work in a KIPP School in Rural NC

By Mary Grech

         I’ve know that I wanted to be I teacher since I was in the second grade. Now I am almost ready to start looking for my first teaching job. I will be graduating next May with a BA in Anthropology, a minor in History, and a strong interest in education inequality issues and reform. My experience working with children will include tutoring and mentoring at an after-school program, and a summer experience teaching English in Vietnam. I will be looking for a school where I will be able to challenge myself, my students, and the status quo of the US education system, while simultaneously giving and receiving support and constructive criticism.

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BON in Rural Virginia

By Alex May

          This spring break, I spent time in rural Virginia.  You probably haven’t heard of the town.  I know that I hadn’t, but I was looking forward to going on my first major service trip, and I didn’t mind that I hadn’t heard of it before.  I didn’t even have a complete understanding as to what we would we doing in rural Virginia for a whole week, but that didn’t bother me, either.  All I knew was we would be working with a non-profit organization, so I waited until we got there to learn more about what we were doing.

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Early Childhood Education in DC

By Dwight Weingarten

           Over my spring break, ten other William & Mary students and I went to Washington, D.C. to volunteer in two schools with different education systems. One school followed the KIPP model, while the other followed the STEM model. The focus of the trip was early childhood education and bridging the achievement gap. I was assigned to help out in a preschool classroom for two days at the KIPP school and in a pre-K classroom at the STEM school for another two days.  I will never forget the relationships that I formed with these children in just two short days. I was accepted immediately by classes, showing me how are so tractable and welcoming children are.

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