Early this year author Barbara Metzler visited Sarasota as guest of the Community Foundation to discuss her book, Passionaries. I was fortunate to meet her and hear her inspirational comments. Metzler coined the word "passionaries" as an abbreviation of "passionate visionaries." In her book, she writes about 35 Americans with successful nonprofit organizations that are changing the world. "May these profiles ignite your own passions. Give forward—create ripples" is Metzler’s noble appeal in her book signings.
Sarasota has numerous passionaries. Many are well known, yet others are below the radar. Marty Hurwitz is one of the latter. For over 20 years he was a highly successful Hollywood agent. But unfulfilled in ways not valued by many in that field, Hurwitz recalls, "I got to a place where I needed to find the courage of my convictions to change my life and lifestyles and be able to do what fed me as a person."
Moving to Sarasota in 2002, he taught high school for four years and worked with at-risk students. In 2004, Hurwitz founded Habitude, which is committed to a dovetail approach of life coaching and academic tutoring to help at-risk kids identify and tap into their strengths. Success is based upon developing and maintaining good habits and positive attitudes—thus "habitude." With interagency relationships with Boys & Girls Clubs and Habitat for Humanities, Habitude is becoming an effective one-on-one, intensive program that contributes to altering lives.
"A person can survive and overcome having nothing in their life, but they cannot overcome having no one in their life," Hurwitz fervently believes. Habitude provides that someone. Marty Hurwitz is surely one of our local passionaries creating ripples. We thank him.