Nina felt she did not have many opportunities to enjoy the outdoors in Maryland. One of her only recollections from her youth is walking around her neighborhood with her grandmother. Her neighborhood was adjacent to a high-crime area so she always needed to be with a guardian. However, she came to appreciate the suburban outdoors. She would venture to her nearest playground that had a nearby pond. To this day, she still gets excited when she sees squirrels or deer.
Meanwhile, a career in the arts became her first passion. She found opportunities and worked hard to make a career out of her passion. After a while, she decided she wanted to change career paths because she enjoyed the spirit of working in the nonprofit world. She began to look into nonprofits in the Washington DC-area focused on conservation. She met with a former Hispanic Access Foundation employee to gain insight on how conservation intersected with the needs of the Latino community and knew she wanted to work at Hispanic Access.
Soon after, Nina was offered a fellowship through the MANO Project. However, she pursued a different opportunity due to economic limitations. It was not until the MANO Project was hiring for a Program Associate that her dream of working with the organization would happen.
Now, she is a full-time Program Manager for the MANO Project and enjoys serving her comunidad in that way. She works with federal land management agencies like the National Park Service and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to provide internship and fellowship opportunities to young professionals of color.
“I enjoy being part of the process to empower young individuals to take these positions,” she shared. “I see myself as a puzzle piece in other people's journeys and enjoy being a part of that.”
One of the many reasons she likes working with Hispanic Access is because she is given a voice and a seat at the table to make decisions in holding partners accountable. When things don't seem fair for an intern or fellow, she strives to bring equity into programs.
“Hispanic Access has given me the opportunity to align my work with my values, which hasn’t ever happened before. I'm excited for the future and see us taking a more active role in making equitable experiences in places that have historically excluded marginalized groups.”
When she isn’t busy diversifying the workforce for land agencies, she continues to also work in theatre and is sharpening her rock climbing technique in her new home–Denver, Colorado.
Hispanic Access is inspiring, training, and working with leaders like Nina Marti, who have a stake in their community and have the drive for positive change. To help support and continue this work, please consider making a Charitable Donation