Marvin Gundy was born in Brooklyn, New York and was raised mainly in low-income neighborhoods in central New Jersey. When describing his early years, Marvin talks about the challenging social climate of inner-city poverty and communal peer pressures. Through his upbringing and his experiences with the justice system, Marvin has learned that honest hard work pays off, and shortcuts only bring faulty success. Marvin has taken his experiences and hard-earned knowledge and turned them into positive motivations for himself and members of the community. As the Outreach Coordinator for the Washtenaw County Sheriff’s Office’s Community Engagement program, Marvin works directly with the community to improve how the WCSO interacts with, relates to, and serves its residents, and attempts to change how residents see the badge. Marvin helps the Sheriff’s Office communicate, build trust, and identify needs so that they can better collaborate with their communities to create interventions and provide solutions. Marvin reports that helping young men and women find ways to overcome setbacks keeps him grounded. When not working or mentoring, he spends his time nurturing his children and coordinating a Youth Fitness Clinic for young girls and boys.
My motto is “each one, teach one.” We’re dealing with individual and community pains, and YJF gives us a way to reach more people. It’s easy to stumble when you get out, especially after going in young, and we need people there to walk alongside these guys when they come home. The goal is to teach everybody this walk, that way anyone who is struggling can fall back on their community, and circumstances don’t push people to make choices nobody benefits from.