If you haven’t already visited CTEC, BOSS’ Career Training and Employment Center, you’ll find some amazing people there to help with almost anything you need. This is the first in a series of profiles on the supportive people in BOSS who are helping our participants Turn their Lives Around!

Martin Malone, BOSS’ FUBU (For Us By Us) Program Coordinator, is one of the faces you’ll see when you visit our CTEC office in the heart of Downtown Oakland. Martin, who previously worked for Tri-Cities Community Development Center, was very familiar with BOSS when he was asked to join CTEC as the FUBU Coordinator.

“For Us By Us is a contract where we get disengaged clients to re-engage services and the unique aspect of that is, that those of us who have lived experiences, lived there done that, if you will, are kinda like worthy of the buy in, that the services do work.”

Martin also informed us that the reason he left Tri-City Community Development Center is because he wanted to give back to Oakland where he has always taken care of when he needed it. Martin, who is originally from San Francisco was a run away and grew up in Oakland going back and forth on AC Transit and BART, and when the opportunity to join BOSS arose, he took it, wanting to return the love he received from Oakland back to Oakland. His dedication and passion is reflected through his thought-provoking questions and conversations with the community every morning at CTEC. 

At CTEC, Martin strives to support each individual on their journey to reaching their own “ah ha” moment, just as someone had helped him to recognize and accept the causes and effects of his decisions and behaviors and how he could turn his life around through simple decisions. Martin describes one of his best moments since starting at BOSS as when individuals in the community recognized him and asked him about his occupation. Martin explained that being able to speak about who he is now compared to who he was in the past was a breathtaking moment of realization and growth in his journey.

A regular day at BOSS involves Martin greeting the community with open arms and offering them coffee, sandwiches, and any kind of help toward each individual. Martin’s passion of engaging with the community focuses on treating each individual the same no matter what. Although BOSS may not currently have all the resources to tackle their problems, Martin understands that by going above and beyond, it shows the community such as BOSS cares: 

“It’s definitely love, respect, honor and dignity. One thing that I know about people is that they don’t care how smart you think you are or how smart you are, they’ll never forget how you make them feel though.”

Martin believes that by talking with the community, offering coffee and/or food, it illustrates the compassion of people who care and want to listen to the community. While Martin may not be able to relate to every individual, he aspires to listen. 

“I just learn to relate but if I can’t, I learn to listen. Sometimes I just know to just shut up and listen. If I can’t, I’ll offer anything that I can. Give them a warm filling.” 

At CTEC, Martin continues to share what BOSS is and what we do while, getting to know his community more personally. His love and compassion for returning the favor to Oakland continues to grow as he seeks to speak to the community every morning at BOSS.

Donate here to support BOSS programs like CTEC that put people back to work!

To train, hire or mentor someone trying to rejoin the workforce, contact CTEC at 510.419.0669.