Name: Marvin Mastin

Home Town: Prairie Village, Kansas

Current Town: Kansas City, Missouri

Relationship to VISIONS: Former Summer Program Director: Blackfeet, South Carolina, British Virgin Islands, Northern Cheyenne, and Vietnam. My first summer was 1992 and my last summer working for VISIONS was 2014. I am also the father of two VISIONS students.


What does your life look like now?
I work at a company called Dimensional Innovations in Kansas City as the director of their foundation and as a project manager. My days start early, usually with a run. I oversee a number of design-build-install projects at any one time. I lead my company’s charge on giving back to the community in which we live. I get to meet and work with a lot of cool people. I am on the go constantly, and my wife, two daughters and I try to squeeze in travel whenever we can. My oldest daughter is doing a gap year in Chile this year with the International Rotary Club. I have a goldfish named Pedro.

What does the word community mean to you?
Community means authenticity and an environment where people can take risks.

What was most memorable about your VISIONS experience?
Working with VISIONS gave me the opportunity to come up alongside people that came from a very different history than my own. I was able to find out how much common ground we shared.

What did the VISIONS experience teach you about yourself?
VISIONS taught me that I only skimmed the surface of what there is to learn, share and discover.


What is something that makes you hopeful for the future?
I work with a lot of nonprofits in Kansas City. With each one I interact with, I gain some hope. There are good people out there doing good work.

What do you feel is one of your greatest strengths that you have to offer the world?
An awareness for the disenfranchised. I try to notice those that go unnoticed.

In what ways, big or small, would you like to change the world?
I would like to create dialogue between people/groups. Everything starts with an interaction between two parties.

What would you like to be remembered for?
When Marvin entered the room, the music started bumping and the atmosphere got happy.

What do you hope to be doing 10 years from now?
In 10 years, I would like to be living in another country sharing, learning and contributing.

What would you like to say to other members of the VISIONS community?
As a parent of two VISIONS students and a 10-year summer director, VISIONS is more relevant now than ever. Be there for the students, be there for the community, and the “cool” stuff you want for yourself will happen.

Anything else to add?
VISIONS helped to shape me into the person I am now. For that, I am grateful. Thank you.

VISIONS in The New York Times