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The Corporate Attorney

News Story

From coast to coast (and even all the way to Austria), Servando Martinez ’19 is working to inspire people wherever he goes. He’s even dreaming of one day launching a nonprofit to help youth displaced by homelessness.

From the beginning, west coast native Servando Martinez ’19 had his heart set on moving to NYC for college. “Coming from California, [this] was an amazing moment of transition for me,” he said, having chosen Pace for its emphasis on community and internship opportunities. He already knew that he wanted to major in criminal justice, too, but one experience in particular radically changed his perspective.

“One of my professors took me to go see Kesha’s trial,” Martinez explained, referring to Kesha v. Dr. Luke, a lawsuit filed by recording artist Kesha Sebert against her former producer Lukasz Gottwald. That sparked Martinez’s interest in media law. He signed up to double major in criminal justice and communications after that, even tacking on a minor in marketing. To some, that might seem like a lot, but Martinez has always been incredibly driven. “I knew I wanted to make the most out of my time at Pace and get as many majors or minors that I could,” he told us.

His ambition didn’t stop there. Martinez has been a Pace Tour Guide, Orientation Leader, Resident Assistant, member of Zeta Beta Tau, former Dyson Vice President and current Executive Vice President for the Student Government Association, and much more. What motivates that kind of passion at Pace? “My residents and students [are] honestly what keep me going. They make me so proud and never cease to amaze me,” he said.

Of all the courses he’s taken at Pace, there was one in particular that left a huge impact on him: the Product Innovation Projects (PiP). Taught by the Director of the Pforzheimer Honors College Jaclyn Kopel, EdD, and Olga Bogomolova ’13 ’18, this nine-month field study program allows students from all over the world to work together in order to solve a challenge posed by an industry sponsor. “I got to travel to Austria twice as part of the course, and I learned so much!” Martinez enthused. “From international communication to design thinking to conflict resolution, I [gained] a ton of transferrable skills and got to invent an innovative product from scratch.” He even learned how to manage a budget for the first time, too—a budget of 12K euros, that is.

As far as internships go, Martinez cited his time working for the National September 11 Memorial & Museum as the most influential. “It taught me so much about New York and what makes this place so beautiful,” he said, detailing the team’s work with accessibility and education on microaggressions as some of the important lessons he learned while there. Not only that, but “on the last day of my internship, they gave me one of the flags that was flying when 9/11 happened. That will forever be one of my most prized possessions.”

He’s certainly no stranger to philanthropic work, either. Martinez has said that he dreams of one day launching a nonprofit to help young people who are experiencing homelessness. “A lot of people often generalize homelessness, but it really can happen to anyone and everyone,” he explained. “I want nothing more to eradicate the way society perceives [it] and do my best to raise awareness and take action.”

It’s that kind of passion and drive to help others that will surely help Martinez succeed in all he sets his mind to.

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