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Terp Makes Dell's List of Youth Innovation Advisors

May 16, 2014
Contacts: 

Alana Carchedi 301-405-0235

Individual studies major Erik Martin leads entrepreneurship efforts outside the classroom

Erik MartinCOLLEGE PARK, Md. – Recognition from one of the world's largest computer technology corporations has allowed University of Maryland sophomore individual studies major Erik Martin to add one more headline to his list of esteemed accomplishments.

Martin was recently named to Dell's 12 under 22 list of Youth Innovation Advisors (YIA), where he will work to inform Dell of challenges students and young entrepreneurs face on a daily basis and will develop solutions to address these roadblocks and improve creativity among young people. As part of the YIA, Martin will represent, inspire and mentor students to engage in their respective learning communities to make a positive impact on society.

Key priorities for the YIA include the development of next-generation skills, student entrepreneurship, access to technology, connectivity in schools and other areas that affect the preparation of students for the future.

"While the ed-tech space is very exciting, sometimes efforts to push technology into education only serve to digitize broken parts of education, but don't fundamentally change anything," Martin said. "Being a part of Dell's Youth Innovation Advisory board means I can help steer that ship to create real change."

Martin's passion for education and society reform is not just a hobby. The Terp has turned his appetite for change into a major at UMD where he is studying global civics and new media.

In addition to his work at the university, Martin is also a design consultant for FHI 360, where he helps create games that have a positive social impact on developing nations. He is also an education activist drafting a Student Bill of Rights and works closely with the for-students-by-students nonprofit organization, Student Voice.

"I think change has to be much more holistic than just ramping up STEM or 'teacher accountability' with testing," Martin said. "Education should foster resilient, passionate doers and thinkers—that's the change I work towards."