An Artist for Others

By Jay Ford
There’s a belief around Strake Jesuit’s campus that there’s a correlation between the amount of time spent with the Strake Jesuit community and one’s embodiment of Jesuit values. Joaquin Martinez, junior class member of 2024, feels like he gets what it means to live out the “Grad at Grad” qualities in part due to the sheer amount of time he’s spent on campus. “Joaquin has basically been a Crusader since he was ten,” mused science faculty member Dr. Dan Martinez, who, I suppose, would know. He’s Joaquin’s father and has brought Joaquin around for years while he ran practices and coached games.

Jesuit offers many opportunities for young men to find their own paths grow into spiritually mature, confident individuals. Joaquin feels like he started settling into his own path sophomore year. Through Jesuit’s partnership with St. Agnes, Joaquin took a drawing elective that allowed him to develop his hobby of sketching into a craft he passionately works to improve. This year in an advanced drawing class he refined his skills and, for the first time ever, displayed some of his own art at Inkwell’s Thursday Café in November, to much praise.

Strake Jesuit’s rigorous classwork provides the foundation that allows Joaquin to be so confident and successful in his art and service to the community. Each of his teachers I spoke with mentioned that he’s the kind of student teachers dream of having: enthusiastic, bright, kind, and open to growth. Joaquin expressed some initial concerns over the difficulty of his coursework. But right away freshman year, Mrs. Jamerlan “made learning fun” and “challenged [him] to work with peers” for more engaged learning. Early success led to a more invested approach to his own education. Theology chair Mr. Reid Linden has modeled “a very organized daily agenda,” which Joaquin has applied to his own scheduling as his time becomes more precious.

Like for many Strake Jesuit students, Joaquin’s most rewarding experience has been his service. Joaquin currently serves on the Freshman Crusader Crew, the group that assists incoming freshmen in starting their high school careers and facilitates the memorable freshman retreat each November. His time at Jesuit has pushed him “to really be open to growth, to keep trying new things.” Joaquin sees how valuable that cross-grade community is, especially because of the Covid disruptions his own 2024 class faced. He’s even got his eye on the service projects offered to seniors.

Joaquin is impressive in many ways, perhaps none more than how he leads by example. He’s a young man characterized by selflessness and his generosity of spirit. When looking for an example of a well-rounded individual who currently embodies the principles of Strake Jesuit, look no further than Joaquin Martinez.