Marques joined the Friends-Boston program about 12 years ago as a very social and active first-grade child, but he was struggling to find motivation. He was having a hard time navigating school, and his single mother needed some help to get him back on the right track.
Six years ago, he was partnered with Stefan as his Friend. From the start, the two connected over their love of old throwback songs, deep political and philosophical conversations, and Star Wars. This was also when Marques found inspiration for his future.
After watching an episode of his favorite animated series, he was inspired to pursue his new passion for biotech engineering and prosthetic limbs. That's when everything began to change for the good.
Marques' grades began to improve, and he found new motivation to not only work in school but to excel - he was focused on his goal. Today, his dreams are becoming reality. He's graduated from high school and is on his way to UMass Boston in the fall as a freshman studying biomedical engineering. But there's a lot more to Marques than just school.
He's become a mentor to many of the younger Achievers within our program. They look up to him, and they enjoy the conversations he has with them. He's also joined a number of Friends-Boston groups and has been very active with his fellow Achievers. Additionally, he's always up for new challenges. For example, this year he took on joining the track team and learning Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.
When talking about Marques at the Friend Raiser, Stefan had this to say: "I am going to miss Marques being around the office as much, but I’m excited for him. He knows what he wants to accomplish and has a good idea of what he needs to do to get there. I can’t wait to see how he grows outside of Friends-Boston, where his path takes him, and the community he builds for himself out in the big wide world. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed watching him grow and demonstrate what it means to be an Achiever at Friends-Boston."
All of those reasons, and many others, are why Marques was named as the first-ever Achiever of the Year at the 2023 Friend Raiser this past May. He's a great example of how impactful the work we do is on young people who are struggling to find their place and voice.