meet c4c, Uncategorized


Name: Marquis
Role at C4C: Founder/Executive Director 
Why are you involved with C4C?:  When I was traveling to the Mississippi Delta two years ago, I was overwhelmed with the amount of poverty and  social disparities that could be found in America.  As I took a deeper look into education and grew frustrated with the experience young people living in urban communities were having both in school and in their community.  This frustration lead me to the question: How can we use sports to educate?
Favorite sport:  Basketball…I have grown up loving the game but now my passion is for the opportunity the game has presented to me and others.

Favorite song:    This probably changes by the hour because it all depend on the mood I am in.  My top 5 are:
1.  I Need-Maverick Sabre
2.  Blue Jeans-Yasmeen
3.  Stop This Train-John Mayer
4.  Murder to Excellence-Jay Z and Kanye West
5.  Airplanes-B.oB., Hayley Williams, and Eminem

Favorite subject in high school: Calculus and Algebra–their was always a right and wrong answer!

First job: My first paying job was as a student at the NAVAL ACADEMY PREP SCHOOL (NAPS) as a NAPSter back in 2001-2002!
Favorite book: Never Eat Alone by Keith Ferrazzi

Most embarrassing college moment:   I was starting a basketball game my sophomore year and completely forgot to up on my jersey.  I did not realize it until the announcer called my name and I took off my warm-up…it was embarrassing because I had to run straight to the locker room to get my jersey which delayed the game…

“When I grow up ….”: I want to be the Secretary of Education because  I think it would be cool to live in Washington D.C. and work with the President while reforming and influencing educational policy.

“Education is…” a great way to inspire young people to think.  It is the only way people can begin making sense of the world they live in and find their way in it.

“Coaching for Change is …”  connects and mentors young people in a nontraditional way to increase community engagement and increase young peoples awareness and knowledge of their potential.
education, youth jobs


The healthiest competition occurs when average people win by putting above average effort. — Colin Powell


While we have a lot of fun playing basketball, coaching, and organizing fun activities at Coaching For Change, our teens also know that we have high expectations for them. We expect them to give 110% in school and after school. And, through the support of our program, their families, role models and mentors, our Game Changers always put in “above average” effort.

We are committed to education. Coaching For Change, Inc. is designed to expand  learning experiences beyond traditional classrooms.  C4C offers an outlet that connects classroom experiences with lessons learned through sports; We believe this collaboration strengthens our students’ desires to graduate from high school and creates more options for success. To achieve success, C4C believes that we must address the  drop-out crisis that is sending half the young men of color into the world without a high school degree. To do this, we need to collaborate, come together, and commit to providing all students with a meaningful education. Students need more ways to pursue knowledge and interests beyond their schools’ curricula, and Coaching For Change provides that opportunity.

We address workforce needs. In a community deeply affected by poverty, crime, drug use and social equity issues, the teenagers in our program learn and apply skills that can revitalize the the Brockton community. In 2011, the City of Brockton’s Education Working Group identified a need for a workforce development programs to improve the skill of entry-level workers and to improve the overall employment rate. With a high school drop out rate of 33%, the community’s ability to create and support vibrant economic growth is negatively impacted when we do not have access to business, education, and innovation. Without high school completion, teens lack access to pathways to help them develop skills to enter the workforce.

We approach skill development differently. With the improvement in access to technology, some businesses are increasing productivity and profits while reducing the number of employees.  The paradox is that many jobs still remain vacant despite a large pool of unemployed workers.  Businesses are looking for skilled workers who can also fill generalist roles. Therefore, it is becoming clear that one-size fit all system of preparation does not fit the needs of the changing employment market. We must prepare our young people to gain a diverse range of skills while also demonstrating an ability to specialize.  According to Boston Indicators, “The loss of high-paid, low-skilled manufacturing jobs has widened income inequality and contributed to youth unemployment and racial/ethnic disparities in health and education.”

We make a difference.  At Coaching For Change, our students learn how to  think critically, perform professionally, and demonstrate competency in leadership. We address the need to graduate from high school and to continue to college. We connect the needs of the community with the contributions of our teens. We think collaboratively — not just competitively — and partner with existing organizations that are making a difference in the community.

Sports teaches us to compete. Coaching For Change gives us the skills to be competitive. 



Changes to the Drop Out Age

One of the key performance goals of Coaching for Change, Inc is to encourage and empower students to complete high school, leveraging their opportunities for future success. According to a recent study, college graduates make 84% more than high school graduates. Success in college and in career relies on students graduating from high school.
In March 2012, Massachusetts Joint Commission on Education recommended a bill that would raise the legal drop out age from 16 to 18. But, does making an act illegal actually solve the problem? In a response from the Massachusetts Business Alliance for Education:

Engaging students in learning so they are prepared for further training and gainful employment should be the goal of any dropout prevention initiative.  MBAE supports recommendations that build on evidence of what works – such as early warning systems that identify students at risk and interventions for these students that keep them on track to graduation.  According to Civic Enterprise’s Silent Epidemic, nearly 70% of dropouts were not motivated to work hard and two-thirds would have worked harder if more was demanded of them.  Over 80% said their chances of staying in school would have increased if classes were more interesting and provided opportunities for real-world learning.   Making it illegal for youth under age 18 to dropout of school will not address this reality.  MBAE supports action that will.

Coaching for Change, Inc has taken an innovative approach to making education relevant, particularly to students who are disillusioned by our education system. While education reform takes a coordinated effort — one in which the best interest of the students and the diverse learning styles of our students is central to learning — we provide ways for students to connect to their classes, lessons, and material. By creating micro-enterprises and businesses that are dependent on the students’ understanding and application of English, history, psychology, and mathematics as well as communication, leadership, and organization, our Game Changers must use a holistic approach to education in order to be successful. Our Game Changers must work together and apply all of these lessons and skills in order to create successful sporting events. They see the programs from start to finish, learn how to work as a team, and create business plans for each event. Their success depends on their learning; and their learning depends on their success.
At Coaching for Change, Inc., we believe that we cannot force students to learn. Rather, we must show them how learning connects to their personal interests, success, and futures.
Coaching today, the leaders of tomorrow.