|Photo by Marcus Fletcher, 12, Trip to France|
|Marcus and his mother at the Maryland State Championship Game|
“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.”
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.