Zahra Martinez is an author, trainer, advocate, poet, performer, world traveler and artist. She has an immense passion for developing young leaders and has mentored and served youth for over 13 years. Throughout her career, she has worked with several organizations and networks committed to the empowerment and advancement of current and former foster youth and minorities. As a trainer, she specializes in positive youth development, community engagement and leadership development.
Zahra joined the California Youth Connection (CYC) in 2007 as a member and youth advocate. While working with CYC she served as a Y.O.U.T.H. Training Project trainer, Board Member, Central Valley Outreach Coordinator and Statewide Training Coordinator. She worked alongside California’s Central Valley youth leading the efforts in informing where the Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF) public dollars should be distributed for foster youth. On a statewide level, Zahra has coached and supported youth throughout California as young facilitators and trainers.
Zahra has also been a volunteer and collaborator with Sacramento Area League of Associated Muslims as a Youth Coordinator. She provided mentorship with a focus on empowering young Muslims in developing their leadership skills, creative thinking and self-awareness.
With a zest for exploration, Zahra has traveled the world with the Foster Youth Cultural Exchange and had the opportunity to learn and share her experiences with other social justice advocates. In 2017, Zahra backpacked alone throughout Europe with the deepest desire to inspire youth in systems of care that they can do anything.