Assistant Director of the Career and Leadership Development CenterJanuary program chair Amanda Senn introduced her 2002 Kent Roosevelt High School classmate Marquis Parham. He is the Assistant Director of the Career and Leadership Development Center at his alma mater Ohio University. Marquis holds bachelors and masters degrees in recreation and sport pedagogy with an emphasis in coaching education and recreation management and administration. He is an educator, motivator, personal trainer, fashion model and television celebrity.
Marquis told his life story about how his successes and failures during his early years in Kent have shaped his life. He gave great credit to his mother Jackie Peoples Duke for raising him and his older brother alone. She worked two jobs to provide for them.
From his earliest years in Silver Meadows and a broken home, Marquis excelled academically and athletically with the strong influence of teachers and coaches. He learned a lot about lower and middle class and culture when he was involved in an altercation with several students during his freshman year at Roosevelt. He was expelled for six weeks and had to go to school at the Kent Free Library. His best friend, who is white, was allowed to go back to school.
After this first mistake, he applied himself harder and rose to be the alternate for Buckeye Boys State and Homecoming King. He received a full athletic scholarship to Ohio University to play football. He credits his stepfather, Uncle Jason Jones, Coach Kevin Hawkins and his best friends’ fathers for teaching him how to be a man and be consistent.
Marquis asked Rotarians to watch over Kent children who need coats or have deviant behavior to give them a chance to succeed as he has. He suggested that with these children you: Listen first; Embrace their culture; Remember the Rufio effect (growing up fatherless), and Keep them active in multiple programs, sports and events.