Mark Murphy

Mark Murphy

Founder & CEO


Rhinebeck, NY USA

Live life in a curious state of mind.


By Roadtrip Nation

Mark Murphy


My road in life has been direct.
My father worked as a builder, so I spent a lot of time helping him build houses and learning about good work ethic.
I knew early on that I wanted to work with kids, but I wasn’t quite sure in what capacity.
The day after I graduated high school, I started working at a job where I supported kids in a residential treatment center.
In college, I started diving deeper into learning about systemic inequities, which solidified my desire to want to help those who are struggling yet given the least amount of opportunities.
I earned my bachelor’s degree in education from the State University of New York at Cortland and started my career as a teacher.
After teaching for a few years, I moved up to become a school principal.
I later moved into the nonprofit space, supporting other school principals, and then got the opportunity to serve as the Secretary of Education for Delaware.
After having hundreds of conversations with teenagers, I saw that they have so many passions and interests but little opportunity to pursue them, so I started GripTape to help them do that!


High School
State University of New York at Cortland
Educational Leadership
College of Notre Dame of Maryland


Founder & CEO

I lead a nonprofit organization that helps young people pursue their passions and interests on their own terms.

Career Roadmap

My work combines:
My work combines:
Non-Profit Organizations
Helping People

Day to Day

On any given day, there are four different things that I'm doing. First, I help to chart the path of the organization. This means focusing on questions of our strategy and how it best meets our mission and vision. Second, I support the youth and adult staff at GripTape to ensure they have the resources to lead great efforts. Third, I work to directly raise and earn the funding that our organization needs to exist. Fourth, I meet with external audiences and organizations to represent GripTape.

Advice for Getting Started

Here's the first step for high school students

First, before a degree, I recommend an experience that illuminates what it's like to work with youth—an internship, teacher's assistant, or a role with a youth development organization. Then pursue an undergrad degree that you're passionate about and provides a foundation of supporting youth. Next, experience multiple roles with direct responsibility for youth development. Finally, if beneficial or needed, pursue a graduate degree that directly supports your aspirations to serve young people.


The Noise I Shed

From Myself:

"I want to be a school principal but I'm not ready yet. I don't know enough. I need to wait a few years before I'm ready."

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