Jesus Martinez

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Jesus Martinez
Pathways Intervention Specialist

jmartinez@youthalive.org | (510) 594-2588 x304jesus

Jesus Martinez worked in kitchens. He worked as a delivery driver, at a produce market, at A T & T Park. But all the time he had a dream of helping his people. Along the way to becoming a Youth ALIVE! Intervention Specialist working with youth transiting out of the justice system, Jesus also got a little help. In San Francisco, at the Center for Academic Re-Entry & Empowerment (CARE), he found mentors. “Three black men helping a Latino,” he says, with gratitude. Maybe they saw that Jesus is a young man who gets a vision of the future and won’t let go, no matter how long it might take to get there. Like with his beautiful, bright orange, seventeen-and-a-half-foot-long, ’64 Chevy Impala, which took seven months just to get up and running. But Jesus was patient and diligent. He made sacrifices to afford the best parts. Now it’s his pride and joy. These are the things he tries to teach his clients: patience, diligence, sacrifice, respect. He loves that he can have an impact on their lives. Jesus spent much of his childhood in Hunter’s Point, but his roots run deep in the Mission. That’s where he was born, where he still finds that feeling of home. It was where he came to understand the greatness of his culture, but also how we sometimes let things like race and culture separate us. It’s where his dream began. “Everyone gives up on us,” he says, “everyone wants to throw us in jail. But I say to my kids, ‘Let’s see what we can do.’”