Tuesday

Broken and Blessed: Marcus' Success Story


Photo by Marcus Fletcher, 12, Trip to France





We live in a world that has broken the mold of a traditional family caused by divorce, death, and irresponsibility usually leaving the child rearing only to the mother. While some single mothers are praised for their efforts, the statistics about children being raised in single parent homes shadow their strength stating: 75% become chemically dependent, 63% are suicidal, many will be incarcerated at one point in their lives, and do poorly in their education or have learning disabilities. Who comes up with these condemning numbers? Do they not know who God is? Many are able to rise above these mere numbers and show the world that all that matters is love. That’s exactly what Marcus Fletcher has done with God on his left shoulder, his mother on the right, and host of family and friends that have his back. Marcus opens up in a humble and candid interview about his life as a normal child being raised by a phenomenal single mother.


Marcus and his mother at the Maryland State Championship Game
Marcus showed great signs of intelligence at a very early age, in his diction and attempted negotiations with his mother when he really wanted something. Before and now at 12-years-old, he has wowed teachers and principals by excelling in classes two years ahead of his grade level. Additionally he was MVP on his football team two years in a row and led his team to the state championship in Baltimore, MD. He also has a passion for baseball and plays the cello.  His mother did not just pat him on the back for encouragement and send him on his way. She was a listening ear for his problems, a tutor when he needed help, and still remains the head Team Mom while running down the field and cheering him on in her heels; even after a long day at work. Despite being parented by a single mother and all his success and praise from his family, Marcus does not view himself as anything more than a normal blessed child. 




“I think people see me as being a nice, smart, and interesting person. My friends have always treated me the same as everyone else and have always been nice to my Mom. I have done my best and I feel blessed. I think everyone deserves to be blessed if they believe in God and live right,” Marcus stated.



Marcus is a direct reflection of the love from those around him as seen in his ambition, generosity, and kindness. Whenever anyone would travel outside the country his question was always ‘Will you take me with you?’. Even though he could not speak the language he was ready to experience more of the world and seek eye opening adventures.  His gumption never ceases as he easily rattles off potential colleges that include: Columbia University, Syracuse University, University of Hawaii, and University of Miami. In most cases there is not a male figure in a single mother home, but Marcus has been blessed with several which include:  his grandfathers, family friends, and coaches that all guide him through the obstacles of becoming a man. Marcus recently decided to commit to his spiritual connection to God through baptism, which was a decision that his mother allowed him to make so he could form and not be taught his relationship with God. 

“I think it’s important to have a strong relationship with God. My Mom taught me that all my gifts are from God so I need to know how to pray for myself and for others so I can still be blessed,” Marcus said in response to why he chose to be baptized. “My Mom is my biggest support and she always talks about me reaching my all my goals. She said she wants me to dream big and go for it, because I deserve it. I want to both be an architect and a businessman and own my own [restaurant franchise].” 

 
Marcus, 10, Fifth Grade Graduation


Marcus’ dreams are big indeed! Most children his age, regardless of their living environment, often think of how to become the next great mind and millionaire. That option is not disregarded for Marcus; however his focus is on how he can better his community and himself. His mother has had the pleasure of taking him to work with her during the national Take Your Child to Work Day at the Department of Education. During his visits over the last three years he has left the Commissioner and most recently the NAGB (National Assessment Governing Board) staff astonished by his diction and ideas about how to better the United States education system. During this last visit he shared his eye-opening experience about his recent advance French class trip to France as well as his career aspirations and suggestions to the board. Because of his experience and honest opinion, he is currently being considered for a possible opportunity to be an advocate for the importance of minority education. As always his mother stood proudly beside him in revered awe of her child and watched as others witnessed the light within him. Marcus was asked what he would change in his life and the world if he could do it right now his plans for his family in the future.
“I would love to travel more. I had a great time in France with my class. But that would be the only thing I would change, because my life made me who I am today. I’m happy with who I am. When I get my CEO job, I want to buy my Mom a big house if we don’t already have one and make sure she is taken care of, like she took care of me. And I also want to make sure that my family has enough money too. I could change anything in the world it would be to have a better economy and less violence, especially against kids,” Marcus stated.  
We often applaud the successful actor, athlete, businessman, entertainers, or millionaire that was raised by a single parent in the news and social media to prove that it is possible to come out top. Meanwhile those that are still in their upbringing are sidelined with incorrect assumptions. If the child is not in the lime light, it is easy to condemn a single mother and the child because of those numbers. Marcus and many others show us that although it may look broken from the outside, upon a closer look the nontraditional family is a blessed family. Regardless of all the outside praise, Marcus states what he wants to be remembered for.

“My kindness, generosity, and accomplishments.”

Photo by Carmen Fletcher, Marcus 8.


Marcus is and will always be an inspiration to me to always get up and try again and/or do it better. There is no excuse not to try when he has been able to shine through whatever darkness others may put around him.  Many have been able to witness and applaud how powerful his love, drive, kindness, humility, and humor is. To be honest I just feel lucky enough to be his aunt, so I can imagine how his mother feels. I dedicate this testimony to my nephew Marcus, my beacon of hope.

 

2 comments:

  1. What an awesome young man. I applaud his mother for raising such an intelligent son. This story is indeed inspiring and thank you for sharing with the world that single moms can raise phenomenal children!

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  2. This is very touching and I loved it. This young man is going to do beig things. www.blackconvo.info

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