Header Ads

Martin Toe - shown below

 Musician, Leader and Shaker: 

Stay Work Play, a nonprofit dedicated to recruiting and retaining more young people, honors promising young adults from across New Hampshire each year through their Annual Rising Stars Awards. Martin Toe ‘21, a business administration student, was voted Civic Leader of the Year for his attempts to make a meaningful impact in his neighborhood by the 2020 award winners.

Earning the Civic Leader of the Year award is a significant accomplishment for every honoree; recognizing that Martin did so while finishing his bachelor's degree program is an incredible achievement that acts as an inspiration to all adult students with big dreams.

Coming From War:

Martin Toe was born in the Ivory Coast and grew up in a stable family with his mother and brothers, which was quickly uprooted when the world he called home was torn apart by civil war. Martin's upbringing was quickly overwhelmed by tragic news coverage, rioting, police brutality, and other injustices. With the rising terror, more than 100,000 people, including Martin and his relatives, fled the Ivory Coast in search of freedom. They moved from city to city, finally learning that many countries were taking in refugees fleeing the Liberian and Ivory Coast wars. Martin's mother filled out the requisite documents, and they were ecstatic to hear that they were eligible for admission to the United States.

The New World 

Martin's move to Concord, New Hampshire, introduced him to new potential experiences, including his first snowfall, participation in youth sports, and the formation of mutual bonds. The transition to high school came with its own series of difficulties. He failed to understand the teacher's lessons at times, and he was bullied by his classmates socially.

When he joined the local Boys and Girls Club, things started to improve. The team was receptive to Martin's concerns, and their encouragement helped him gain interest. He learned how to make friends and develop supportive peer relationships. He also discovered a passion for basketball and began participating in sports teams.

Martin's artistic and athletic abilities started to emerge when he reached middle school. He knew he had a platform to affect others in a meaningful way when his peers and teachers noticed his abilities and people skills. Training was a top priority throughout. Martin and his sister were encouraged by their mother and her friends to enjoy what they were studying at school.

“Looking back, I see wisdom in what they were saying. They wanted me to get an education in hopes of changing the life of my family and creating opportunities for those around me and those back home where I come from.”

Moved by Passion 

Martin started taking college courses locally after high school, first at NHTI and then at Granite State College, like many of his classmates. Martin, unlike his contemporaries, had a sense of mission and motivation that was wise beyond his years. With passions ranging from music to spoken word to community engagement, Martin was encouraged to follow a direction that combined all of his desires into one while pursuing his degree.

Martin used his talent to transmit messages of optimism, bravery, and strength by recording his own songs and using it to relay messages of hope, courage, and strength. His self-released EP received critical praise from all over the world. Martin was also motivated to write a book on his experiences as a refugee in order to assist people in overcoming challenges and achieving their objectives. Martin sought job opportunities in the city to gain career skills and bring what he's learned in his business major into work while making a positive impact.

Martin most recently worked with the American Friends Service Committee (AFSC) as a Grassroots Organizer Intern, where he coordinated “Know Your Rights” training, a Civics Academy, and a delegation of young people who travelled to Washington, D.C. to campaign for immigrant rights alongside our congressional delegation.

Martin seized the chance to take on a leadership role while interning at AFSC by co-founding Change for Concord with a fellow organizer. Change for Concord is a dynamic community of young professionals who are collaborating to improve the quality of living for Concord residents.

“Oftentimes, we don’t value the strength of diversity in our community and therefore it is minimized. Subsequently, people are taught that their voices don’t matter. We want to address this by taking action to show marginalized groups that their voices matter.”



Apple Music



Powered by Blogger.