Marlo Martin founded G.E.M.S. as a means to establish a platform for students to have a voice and support in their strife for pursuit of academic achievement. With limited resources available in schools due to global budget cuts and most times with lack of parent participation in student school activities, G.E.M.S. was founded on the belief that “It Takes a Village” and we are proud to be in the trenches to help aid our youth and their families towards a healthy succesful life. When asked why GEMS?.. “I often reflect on the many teachers, school administration staff, and professionals who instilled high-quality core values and supported me when I was in grade school; where it may have been a guiding word for me to do better and be better or a direct reprehension to get me back on track if I ever tried to slack. It were those encounters with caring adults in my young life journey along with my family that helped shape me to becoming the woman I am today. This is why I formed G.E.M.S., as a gateway to continue giving that level of support to our youth and provide them with experiences and opportunities that they may not otherwise engage."
Marlo as a way to integrate her many years in serving the community, with extensive community relations experience volunteering with nonprofit organizations through opportunities while working in her professional career at PG&E and with the BEA (Black Employees Association), and most currently with Kaiser Permanente and their KPAAPA (KP African American Professional Association) she whole-heartedly enjoys paying it forward. She has volunteered with organizations such as the UNCF, United Way, Reading Partners, and over the years served countless volunteer hours both in the nonprofit and faith based sectors and also has a collaborative alliance with Full Circle Learning. Marlo has taken her many years of professional IT and Project Management skills to develop a program that also utilizes her personal and professional network in a practical way that helps youth and families across the Bay Area get an informative and intuitive opportunity to positively approach their education and life skills development. Prior to forming G.E.M.S, Marlo established the nonprofit upon leaving her successful career of 22+ years at PG&E to pursue her passion for community and health of families by joining the Kaiser Permanente Health Plan Foundation team. As she holds a degree in Management Information Systems and Accounting she also earned several certifications including IT Project Management from U.C. Berkeley, as well as IT companies such as MicroSoft and becoming one of their pioneering MicroSoft Support Engineers. She now plans to return to the academic arena to further her college studies to increase knowledge and skills necessary to transition into a career in the Community Benefit / Civic Relations sector.
She is currently leading an effort to develop and launch the G.E.M.S. InspireLife Youth Program, an innovative approach to link education and life skills development programs. As Executive Director for the project, she is working to ensure that all students have opportunities to healthy eating and lifestyles, education planning and positive creative expression that help them to learn and communicate in ways that support their unique personalities and abilities.
Her personal and professional beliefs align with G.E.M.S. commitment to ensure all kids are provided with educational, motivating and inspiring opportunities that allow them to learn, grow and thrive. Marlo strives to live out her belief that strength in families, schools and communities makes the world a more better place. Her personal interests are as diverse as her work. This native Bay Area born mother of two and grandmother, loves the outdoors (in particular any place near the water), visual arts, theatre, music and even a little poetry writing when the flow of creativity hits.