Gladys Lebrón- Martinez is a proud Puerto Rican woman who arrived to the city of Springfield in 1969 with her mother and 3 brothers and has lived in Holyoke for 40 years. She is a mother of 4 adult children and grandmother to 9 grandchildren. She has been an advocate on education, health disparities, and quality of life issues. Gladys has also been recognized and received many awards for being a trail blazer and trendsetter in the community, including Women’s Pipeline for Change Participator Action Research Fellowship for Women of Color (2011), Stavros – Paul Winske Access Award (2013), Women Trail Blazer & Trendsetter by Latino Chamber of Commerce (2013), Recognized as Holyoke Democrat of the Year (2014), Certificate of Appreciation from Friends of Mater Dolorosa for supporting Initiative Revitalize Downtown Holyoke (2015), Recognition from Cayey Social Club for services and dedication in Ward 1 (2017).
In addition, Gladys has also served in Holyoke as a School Committee Board member from 2004-2010 and has been serving on the Holyoke City Council since 2011 (recently re-elected).
Gladys has worked for Masshire Holyoke, a Workforce Development Organization, since 2003. In her current role as the Youth Service Director for Masshire, she works with numerous community organizations, schools and employers to assist both in and out of school youth in finding employment, entering into training and/or continuing their education.