Dr. Marketa Robinson
managerial duties, but she enjoys assisting with some of her staff’s direct service work. “I believe a team is supposed to be a team of a whole, not just one leader working alone,” Robsinson said. She aims to serve those transitioning from incarceration back into the community, while helping them become productive members of society. “The general system just isn’t set up to get people information on how to transition from prison, so I really just want to help them get back on their feet and become the productive people God created them to be,” she said.
From Prison to Ph.D.
She worked her way to holding roles in human services and, in 2004, started a new position working for someone who would be positively influential to her. She met Myrtle Lighton, chief executive officer of the Lima UMADAOP, through a mutual friend. After shadowing Lighton’s work, Robinson became intrigued by her role and soon became one of her volunteers. Her dedicated work and cross-training experience in prevention and treatment as a licensed counselor led Lighton to consider her as the manager for a visionary housing program. This is when Robinson realized she was in a position to mentor and counsel others in the re-entry population. “I just wanted to help those trying to navigate through the process stand on some solid ground,” she said. She worked at Lima’s program until 2015, when she accepted her current position as executive director of the Dayton UMADAOP. Monitoring the organization’s daily functions and writing grants are some of her daily
” I have the strong belief that there aren’t bad people, just peoplewhomake bad choices. Marketa Robinson says she strongly believes this statement, recalling some of her past experiences and decisions. The executive director of the Dayton UMADAOP and mentor to hundreds uses her story to drive her passion for helping others. At one time, she, too, was someone others could have judged as a “bad person.” A mother of seven, Robinson once found herself recently released from prison and, like other former inmates, forced to scramble to reacclimate into society. “I was on the dark side of things,” she recalls. She worked jobs in janitorial labor for about four years before beginning to find her way in life after prison. She soon knew she wanted to help others in similar situations.
Throughout her years working in this field, Robinson went to school to obtain a master’s degree in education as well as a Ph.D. in human services. “It was a very long and humbling journey,” she said. “But the biggest parts that made it a success were the people in my life who guided and educated me. I just want to be that person for others.”
” I just want to be that person for others.
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