Martz Named 2024 Thomas and Rachel Spencer Spirit Of NPC Award

Trysten Martz accepting an award from Darla Thurber.Ƶ Park College (NPC) named Trysten Martz (Cushman, Arkansas) the recipient of the 2024 Thomas and Rachel Spencer Spirit of NPC Award during commencement last month.

Martz, a former Bergman High School student, has now graduated with an Associate of Applied Science degree in Criminal Justice. His journey at NPC has been marked by determination and a passion for the field of criminal justice, fueled by personal experiences and a desire to guide youth toward a brighter future.

“In my spare time, I study criminal cases, especially since that is my passion for future employment,” Martz shared, reflecting on his commitment to his chosen career path.

His academic pursuits at NPC have been transformative, culminating in his recent graduation. “Being the first in my family to accomplish this was very gratifying to me,” Martz expressed. He is currently enrolled in summer courses, paving the way to complete his Bachelor of Science degree through a transfer agreement with the Ƶ of Arkansas at Fort Smith.

Martz’s choice to attend NPC was influenced by his time at a transitional living home in Hot Springs, where he focused on personal growth. The loss of a job became a turning point, leading him to NPC’s Adult Education Program. “Within three months, I had received my GED and was enrolled in college courses. From that point going forward, life has drastically changed for me,” he recounted.

The supportive atmosphere at NPC stands out to Martz, who has found a welcoming community ready to assist him through academic, financial, and emotional challenges. “The staff and faculty have always gone the extra mile to help me,” he said, highlighting the College’s commitment to student success.

Looking ahead, Martz plans to join the U.S. Army and further his education. His long-term goal is to study law and become a legal advocate for the less fortunate. His college experience has honed his skills in composition, mathematics, critical thinking, and time management, fostering a newfound self-esteem.

Martz is actively involved in campus life, serving as vice president of Believers United in Christ, treasurer for the Sustainability Club, and a member of the TRIO Program, which supports first-generation college students.

Dean of Ƶ, John Tucker, and TRIO advisor Kaye Foshee both commended Martz’s character, perseverance, and academic achievements. Foshee remarked, “Trysten is the perfect example of someone who, against all odds, represents the first-generation college student who has persevered to receive his first college degree. Trysten’s accomplishments have truly been amazing. I do believe that Trysten will achieve all of his dreams to someday become an advocate for young people who need professional support through the legal system. His hard and persistent work will pay great dividends, not only to him but to the ones to whom he will serve.”

Tucker said, “I know him to be a student of high moral character and integrity. His road to NPC has been a tough one. He has stumbled at times, but he consistently picks himself up, dusts himself off, and moves forward. I am very proud of him.”

Martz said, “I was truly amazed to be awarded the Spirit of NPC Award at this year’s graduation ceremony. I appreciate so much that the support staff here have shown that they have confidence in my abilities which makes me want to try even harder to achieve and to remain focused on my goals and dreams. I would like to express my thank you to the people who have been an inspiration to me during the times when I have battled turmoil in other areas of my life. This honor has been a highlight in my life, and it inspires me to keep improving and becoming that person who can someday pass the baton on to help in the success of others.”

Trysten Martz’s story is one of overcoming adversity, embracing opportunities, and striving for excellence—a true embodiment of Nighthawk grit and the Spirit of NPC.