Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Student Spotlight: Marcus Burks

Marcus Burks is the second student to be featured in the student spotlight for a second time (Melissa Young). He was originally featured as an 8th grader at Wells Prep in March 2009. Two years later, he is a rising junior at King College Prep. Marcus is from the far south side of Chicago and has four siblings.

He has three younger sisters who “make me feel like a leader” and an older brother who he’s close with. Marcus aims to be a positive influence in his sisters’ lives because “I wouldn’t want to see them doing anything negative.” What personally keeps him going while he’s looking out for others? “Hopes and dreams of going to college,” he says.

But first things first, “You gotta stay fresh.” Marcus says his high school is “a big fashion show.” Everyone is dressed well so it’s a challenge to keep up. His tips are to “find your own style” and think about “how you want people to see you.” What you see is what you get!

As for academics, Marcus’s favorite subject right now is chemistry. He finds it interesting and he benefits from his strength in math. This could prove useful as he considers studying engineering in college.

Marcus is looking to get out of Chicago, though. “I’ve been here too long,” he says. “I want to meet new people.” His first choice is Florida, even though the Miami Heat are his worst enemies at the moment. “If I ever go to Miami, I’m wearing my Bulls gear!” He predicts the Bulls to win in seven games because “We have D. Rose and they don’t.”

This is Marcus’s third full year as a participant at Cabrini Connections. He has been with the same mentor, Joe Fridlin, since 4th grade when they worked together at the YMCA. Joe is a “positive influence… he’s like a big brother… [and] he makes sure I’m on track to be successful.”

Marcus’s tip for mentors is to get to know your student and become friends with him or her. “Let them know that you care and that you’re there for them if they need you,” he says. This will build trust and understanding and lead to a better mentor-mentee relationship.

This summer Marcus plans to continue working (he has a paper route) and having fun. He loves to stay active. He plays pick up basketball and he runs track for school. His motto is: “Just live by the day.” Have a great summer, Marcus, and thanks for making Cabrini Connections an important part of your life!

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