Empower urban teens to overcome social and structural barriers with a sports coaching-based entrepreneurship and leadership program.
Coaching For Change uses a cross-aged mentoring approach where kids are teaching/coaching kids. We recruit and train college students to teach and mentor high school students to develop their sports coaching skills. Then together they create, market, and coach sports programs run by Coaching For Change, Inc.
Raised by a single mother in South Central Los Angeles, just six blocks from where the L.A. riots occurred, his neighborhood was a scary place to grow up because of the prevalence of violence, drugs, and gangs. Sports had a huge and positive impact on his life as he found a safe and supportive, community through the game of basketball. On the court, he learned the importance of commitment, teamwork, leadership, and perseverance. But, it was the coaches who truly changed the trajectory of his young life. Marquis’ coaches gave him the life skills and the self-confidence needed to finish high school, obtain a college scholarship, and dedicate himself to empowering other at-risk youth to understand the connection between education and economic empowerment. In 2010, Coaching4Change (C4C) was founded while he studied to receive his Master’s in Teaching from Smith College. Marquis understands how to use sports to strengthen young peoples educational experiences. He has dedicated the past 5 years of his life to expanding opportunities for youth through sports based youth development. Coaching4Change’s unique model, seeks to bolster students’ success in low-income communities by building an educational pipeline from 3rd grade to college graduation. The innovative model uses coaching and sports based activities as a youth employment and skills development opportunity to increase youth employability and preparedness for college/career. Marquis is an emerging social entrepreneur, who has developed innovative and effective ways to increase high quality out-of-school learning opportunities. Over the last three years, he has grown Coaching4Change from a concept that impacted 10 students to reaching over 1,000 kids in the Brockton area. Marquis has received an Echoing Green Black Male Achievement Fellowship and Root Cause Social Innovation Award in honor of Coaching4Change’s accomplishments. The program has been represented in People Magazine, Harvard Business Review, and the Huffington Post.
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