Marquita MS '18, Nonprofit Management
Singer. Nonprofit leader. Advocate for the oppressed.
How does the prop you brought represent you?
I chose to bring my karaoke microphone because it expresses my love of singing but also my belief in using my voice to advocate for the oppressed and empowering others to do the same.
How would you describe courage in one sentence?
To me, courage means doing the things you're afraid to do.
How did getting your degree require courage?
I had been out of school for 10 years when I decided to return for my master's. It meant being away from my family longer than I anticipated. I knew it was what God was calling me to, but it took courage for me to walk into it because it meant sacrificing the plans I had for my life and instead embracing His plans.
How does your current job or career path require courage?
I currently serve as the Sr. Director of Operations for a nonprofit that has offices in 11 cities. We partner with other local organizations to serve alongside and empower people living in poverty and those who are often on the margins of society. We provide them with volunteers from churches and schools to help serve. I believe it takes courage to continue to work to educate our groups about systematic injustice and inviting them into hard places so that their eyes can be opened to see the people who are affected by injustice. It takes courage to have hard conversations about topics like racism, economic inequalities, and the school to prison pipeline. But we do it because we believe in using our voice to educate and our hands and feet to serve practically.
How did EU help you become more courageous in your thinking and actions?
Eastern has given me even more depth of knowledge about how to lead others well and also how to advocate for the oppressed. I remember my most difficult semester was when I was taking my advocacy class. I learned so much about what it means to be a champion for others and what it doesn't mean. I was challenged by the in depth look at public policy that negatively affected so many lives in our country and my heart broke when having conversations with congressmen about hunger and mass incarceration and urging them to pass laws that support children and families living in poverty. As I continued to learn more throughout that semester, it took more and more courage for me to continue to stand up and speak out.
Where do you hope courage will lead you in the future?
I hope courage will continue to lead me into spaces where myself and others are able to live in the freedom and grace God has given us. I hope that I will always have the courage to say something when I see injustice, to love others as the image bearers they are, and to walk humbly with the Lord and trust his leading.