Community Spotlight: Coach, Community Organizer, and Jumpstart Founder

Marcus wears many hats: He’s a football coach, life coach, community volunteer, and most recently, the founder of Jumpstart, a youth foundation designed for kids in the inner city and rural areas. Marcus says the idea for Jumpstart began 10 years ago, and he’s been researching and volunteering ever since, finding out how to make life better for kids dealing with issues at school or home.

The program is launching this year after getting approval from the City of Dallas and the local church and will run Friday night hoops for kids in the community, in addition to other programming. As Marcus says about the program, “What sets us apart is that, when a kid signs up with us, they are there for life.”

Reflecting on his years working with youth, Marcus says the proudest moments are when kids receive scholarships for football and basketball, and his favorite moments are when kids who have moved on to college give him a call late at night, thanking him for all of the opportunities he has contributed. Though Marcus is happy to share his knowledge about sports and encourage athletic opportunities, he also places a huge emphasis on the value of education. “Doesn’t matter if it’s D1, D2, D3 — it’s all about your education,” Marcus says.

When he’s not working on Jumpstart or volunteering, Marcus takes a break with visits to the lake, walks, poetry, puzzles, riddles (he says he’s not good but enjoys them), and string art (“It takes a lot of patience,” Marcus says). The church is also a big part of his life. Looking to the future, Marcus sees the program going places. He envisions Jumpstart extending to inner-city areas and suburbs throughout the state of Texas and beyond. “Kids need guidance and need to know that there is a life outside of what they’ve known in their young age,” Marcus says.

We couldn’t agree more.

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