Gian Martinez

Born and raised in Roxbury, Gian got to experience the city life in Boston firsthand. At the same time, though, he bounced between his home in Ecuador almost every single Summer, one of the many places he’s from and one of the many identities he aligns himself with. Having experienced these two different types of city life with different customs and lifestyles made him a little more socially aware and conscious of his surroundings growing up. Generally, Gian mainly played videogames and read what he could come across at his local library to pass the time for as long as he could remember; his first real book was The Unwanteds in third grade, a book quite ahead of his level at the time, but upon the completion of it, he sparked a love for reading. With this, he began reading more and more challenging books, magazine articles, and at one point, an encyclopedia (true story). Being as curious as he was, he loved learning about all types of things: science, literature, anything. Regarding other extracurricular activities, Gian also played soccer from 3rd-5th grade, and then football years later for both his middle and high school years. 

He attended the James P. Timilty Middle School where he was placed in an Advanced Work Class. However, he developed a tendency to be lazy which would then later translate into some hurdles he’d have to overcome in his BLS career. He never fully devoted his energy to his academics or put forth full effort in school. Nonetheless, it took some time to adapt and pushing from adults he looked up to in order for him to realize his potential and realign his values into putting in much more effort into school and becoming a more well-disciplined and well-rounded individual. With this newfound change, he took on challenges and tried things he’d never thought of before. His sophomore year he helped establish the Young Men of Color group at his school, a group that centered around a YPAR Model to help focus on boys of color not only in exams and public schools, but society as a whole. His research project brought him to a national conference in Detroit, COSEBAC, where he presented it in front of hundreds of educators and social service professionals. He was asked to present the same project at the Boston Civic Leaders Summit as a workshop. With this, he also secured an internship at State Representative Chynah Tyler’s office where he’s worked for the last year. All the work he’s taken up since sophomore year combined with his interest in law school and helping others makes an opportunity such as Ward the perfect hands-on experience for public service in hopes to one day be in a position to bring about change in his own community.

Gian’s sponsor is Councilor Matt O’Malley WF’96.