Next Up Columbus 2023: Ozshaleek Martin

Ozshaleek Martin
Ozshaleek Martin

Photo courtesy of Ozshaleek Martin

Interview by Derek Grosso

Name: Ozshaleek Martin
Pronouns: She/Her/Hers
Age: 33
Profession: Postmaster at United States Postal Service, Community Engagement Coordinator at Chosen 4 Change
Neighborhood: Blacklick
Education: Bachelor’s degree in Sociology from The Ohio State University, Lean Six Sigma Yellow Belt Certified
Community Involvement: Chosen 4 Change, Columbus Impact Academy, CYP Club
Motto: My motto comes from Habakkuk 2:2 of the KJV Bible.
Write the vision, make it plain. This has been my go to for everything. If there is something I want to achieve, I write it out, claim it, and work towards obtaining it.
Connect: LinkedIn | Instagram | Facebook

Give us a snapshot of your path
I was born and raised in Columbus, Oh. I grew up giving back to my community. My family was behind a well known non-profit organization from the late 80’s to the early 2000’s known as Take It To The Streets Foundation. Our focus was providing food, housing, and everyday essentials to those who were less fortunate in our community. I currently provide public service to the community by way of the United States Postal Service. As the Community Engagement Coordinator for a non-profit organization known as Chosen4Change, I am currently organizing small events in various communities promoting a project helping citizens living upstanding post-conviction lives a chance at a pardon. The project is The Ohio Governor’s Expedited Pardon Project. I’ve also ventured off into event coordinating, booking travel, and making creative possessions.

What gets you up in the morning? And what gets you through the workweek?
Being able to provide a great life for my son is what gets me up in the morning. I know that he see’s everything going on around him and I want him to know that hard work does pay off.
Music typically gets me through the day/week. If I’m having a bad day, the right play list will get me back on track.

What advice or mentors have helped guide you along the way?
I have been fortunate to have a great village surrounding me since I was little. I see every interaction and connection to be a positive attribute in my life. My parent’s, Ada & Harold instilled great values in me as a child that have overflown into adulthood. As I got older, I learned a lot from my mother Patrice as well.
I can’t forget about my amazing middle school teachers that believed in me. Miss Zelei, my son’s godmother has been there for every moment of our lives providing guidance, support, and love. When I find myself needing a bit of redirection I reach out to someone in my circle.

What do you do or where do you go to unwind?
I’d prefer to unwind at the beach but that’s not an everyday option in Ohio. lol
I typically enjoy getting fresh air out back or going for a walk around the neighborhood.

What are a few of your favorite local spots in Columbus?
Lemongrass Fusion Bistro is my favorite local place to go. I’ve recommended so many people there and everyone loves it. Scioto Mile is one of my favorite places downtown. I remember when it was known as The Bicentennial Park. I love heading down there to look at the Leveque Tower. This is my absolute favorite building in the city.

When you were a kid, what did you say you wanted to be when you grew up?
When I was a child I always wanted to be a broadcast journalist. I just knew I was going to be famous.

What books or podcasts are you reading/listening to right now?
I am currently reading several books on real estate.

What does it mean to you to be chosen for the Next Up Columbus award?
Being chosen for the Next Up Columbus award is a great feeling. To me, this award is confirmation that I am headed in the right direction and someone, somewhere believes that I have, am, or will continue to make a difference. I have a wealth of knowledge and experience to share and lots more to gain. I want to continue working within my community and making my city a great place.

If someone were to ask you what the “pulse” of Columbus is, what would you tell them?
I would say the pulse of Columbus is a mixture between growth and fellowship. Columbus is growing so much in every aspect of the city, from homes to small businesses to residents. With that, we are gaining more fellowship. I believe Columbus is a small city with a large city mentality. We get the big city feeling on a smaller city budget.

The Next Up Columbus Awards highlight emerging leaders who are connectors and ambassadors in central Ohio and who are making a positive impact on the future of Columbus. The Columbus Young Professionals Club would like to offer special thanks to our 2023 co-presenters, Discover Financial, Ohio Dominican University and Quantum Health for their support of this year’s awards program. Meet the entire “Class of 2023” »



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