Unsung Hero: Gelettie Martin
February is Parent Recognition Month. Strengthening Families Washington, of the Department of Early Learning for Washington State, believes there is no better way to recognize a parent, grandparent, foster or adoptive parent than by acknowledging the numerous and impressive things they do to strengthen their family and those around them in their community.
Seattle’s Child is proud to sponsor the Washington Unsung Hero Awards, recognizing our everyday heroes and honoring the important role caregivers play in children’s lives. There are 28 nominees for the 28 days of February, and Seattle’s Child will highlight each and every one.
Congratulations to the Unsung Hero for February 9
Gelettie Martin - Lakewood
Gelettie Martin inspires me. She is a dedicated mother of two children, ages four and one. She is an immigrant, tri-lingual, multicultural and raising multi-ethnic children. She works 4 part-time jobs cobbled around her parenting expectations, to meet needs and prioritize time with her beloved children. Gelettie perseveres to improve her standing in order to increase family time and model this for her children.
This includes attending college as she can afford it, securing childcare, managing work schedules, and maintaining parenting priorities. Even more so, her major is early childhood education. Two of her jobs are substitute teaching and daycare assisting. She loves children and uses her development knowledge in context. For example, quality is important to Gelettie, she drives to a neighboring county’s library as her children are most engaged at that branch. It is a wonder how she operates at times with minimal rest, galvanizes a support circle, and generously shares hugs and kisses with Genaiah and Jermiah.
If you were to spend a day with Gelettie, you would hear acknowledgment of the children, see art projects she did with the children, or experience a physical environment that reflects active, engaged and seen children.
Even with this, Gelettie is a support to other parents. I can recall a last minute childcare cancellation and exhausting my backups, and she was there for us graciously. Gelettie embraces optimism and hope. When I think of an Unsung Hero, I think of mothers like Gelettie who strive to give their best continuously even when it fails their level of expectation. She never gives up, exudes hope, strategizes ‘how’ and prioritizes her childrens' well-being. A hero is someone I want to emulate, and Gelettie is indeed this for me.
Nominator: Tiffany Y’vonne