By Peg Lopata, Contributing writer
Boston – Drew Motta, 50, is a busy man. He likes things that way. However, the pandemic has made his usual juggling act a bit more challenging.
“Working from home while my wife runs her store, helping my daughter, Olive, 13, with school, keeping kids and adults safe at Artists for Humanity and Cambridge Youth Hockey—it’s really about trying to keep it all together,” said Motta.
But by following his guiding philosophy to be kind and stay curious, Motta is managing it all.
It helps that Motta is not afraid to try something new.
“If I’m given the opportunity to try something new, meet someone from a different background, or hear new music, I jump at it,” he explained. “I’m even unable to pass up a candy I’ve never tried or a strange flavor soda.” He just sampled, for example, passion fruit soda.
“I try to default to saying ‘yes’ to new opportunities.”
Not surprisingly, being the type that says “‘yes”’ more than “‘no,” Motta thrives on being a participant, rather than a spectator. He joins in 200-mile overnight relay races, volunteers as the president of Cambridge Youth Hockey and is director of operations at Artists for Humanity, (AFH) in Boston—an organization he’s been working with for over 25 years.
Artists for Humanity – nurturing teen leaders
“AFH began as a small kernel of an idea to an organization that has served thousands of teens in Boston,” he said. “I feel we’ve nurtured creative leaders who have, through their diversity, made Boston a better place to live.”
When he first discovered AFH he was immediately impressed with the young people in the organization who were selling apparel that they had created themselves.
“Their designs were different, unique, and exciting,” said Motta. “I wanted to be a part of such a bold group of artists. AFH is always working to give kids ways to share their art. They get opportunities to work on real-world art projects for one of our real-world clients.”
Cambridge Youth Hockey – coach to administrator
Motta currently serves as president of the board for Cambridge Youth Hockey, a position he found suited him better than coaching, how he initially got involved.
“I’m six feet five inches and can barely skate. I looked like Bambi on ice,” he said.
Though he didn’t stay with coaching, it was a rewarding experience.
“We lost as many games as we won, but it sure was fun,” said Motta. “The best part was watching the kids celebrate when they get a goal.”
A passion for helping kids
His volunteer work for Cambridge Youth Hockey and his position at AFH require some different skill sets, but both are nonprofits.
“I’m fortunate that both allow me to work with young people who are pursuing their passion supported by a group of committed adults. My experience working at AFH has helped me support Cambridge Youth Hockey,” he said.
Click here to learn more about Artists for Humanity.
Click here to learn more about Cambridge Youth Hockey.