Pleasant Valley State Prison Correctional Sergeant takes disadvantaged youth under wing

Correctional Sgt. Robert Motta, left, became the legal guardian of Kevin Martinez. Now Martinez is a private in the U.S. Army. Photo courtesy of Robert Motta.

Correctional Sgt. Robert Motta, left, became the legal guardian of Kevin Martinez. Now Martinez is a private in the U.S. Army. Photo courtesy of Robert Motta.

By Lt. Kirk Geringer, A.A., Public Information Officer, Pleasant Valley State Prison

A senior in high school, Kevin Martinez was failing many of his classes and not on track to graduate.

Coming from a disadvantaged childhood and looking to run away, Martinez was in need of help.

This is when Pleasant Valley State Prison Correctional Sgt. Robert “Robbie” Motta and his family decided to take Martinez into their home.

Ultimately, Motta became the young man’s legal guardian.

The sergeant sat down with Martinez to create a plan to get back on track. They met with the school’s principal, counselor and teachers, who all assisted in the plan. Through hard work, perseverance and assistance from the Motta family, Martinez was able to graduate with his class.

After graduating, Martinez dove right in to the local college but struggled with his classes.

Concerned for his future, Motta told the young man about the possibilities found in the military.

Martinez decided to enlist in the U.S. Army but was met with another hurdle, his weight.

As an instructor of many disciplines within CDCR and personally, Motta created a solid diet and exercise program which allowed Martinez to lose more than 60 pounds, making him eligible to join the Army.

Martinez completed basic training and is on his way to a bright future.

“My wife and I love Kevin as if he was our flesh and blood. We are extremely proud of his achievements and, most of all, him,” Motta said.

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12 Responses

  1. Marie Callahan Tuesday, September 30, 2014 / 1:09 am

    I appreciate Sgt. Motta for his efforts to help this young man who is now benefiting us all by serving our country.

  2. Lisa Stradley Monday, September 22, 2014 / 7:54 pm

    Such an inspirational story! Great job — all of you. Best wishes to this young man as he serves our nation.

  3. jess Salcedo Monday, September 22, 2014 / 7:48 pm

    I remember Motta always gave it his all when we played soccer for CDC together truly a Great mentor

  4. Yolanda Monday, September 22, 2014 / 4:59 pm

    This is truly a heartwarming story. Just think that young gentleman could have been a statistic if he had ran away and got on the wrong side of the track. Sergeant Motta is definitely Kevin’s guardian angel.

  5. Marion Spearman Monday, September 22, 2014 / 2:57 pm

    Robert, you are a true humanitarian. I am proud of you. Keep up the good work.

  6. Portanova Friday, September 19, 2014 / 6:03 pm

    I know Sgt. Motta as Mr. Motta and all the time he gives to Coalinga High School drama. I always thought he and his wife were special and now with this story, I know just how amazing and compassionate he is to our youth and community. Thank you

  7. Ron Evans, PT Friday, September 19, 2014 / 4:33 pm

    This young man will be forever grateful for the love and guidance given to him by the Motta family. He will in turn show the same level of caring to others. We can “bank” on the far-reaching benefits of simply thinking of those we come in contact with each day.

  8. Suzee Garcia Thursday, September 18, 2014 / 2:06 pm

    What an incredible blessing for Private Kevin Martinez. The gift of love, kindness and support from Sgt. Motta and his family is truly an amazing and incredible act of altruism. God bless all of you.

  9. Lili Tuesday, September 16, 2014 / 5:03 pm

    God bless you Sergeant Robert Motta and your wife for allowing Kevin into your home and hearts. “Faith, Hope and Love, and the greatest of these is Love.”

  10. CCII C. Vargas Tuesday, September 16, 2014 / 4:42 pm

    What a great article to start my day with! I have often said our team here in CDCR has some of the finest, most caring people on earth. Once again I am proudly reminded. Thank you Sergeant Motta for your service to our department but more importantly the difference you make in your family and your community.

  11. Heather Tuesday, September 16, 2014 / 4:18 pm

    Faith in our youth? Restored. (One young person at a time.)

    • sonia sanchez Tuesday, September 16, 2014 / 6:01 pm

      I’m very happy to see Sgt. Motta has made a very kind and generous decision.
      I’m also proud of Mr. Martinez for his grand achievement. Good luck!

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