Meet Marcell: Youth and community development

"Everyone at WMU is so amazing! The faculty provides motivation and leaves a little impact on you."

Marcell is a student in the youth and community development concentration in the family and consumers science B.S. program at WMU. He is currently interning at Family Futures in Grand Rapids and helps coordinate events, collect data and assist with projects. Family Futures is a non-profit organization providing tools, education and support to parents with children under 5.

What song should we listen to while we read this?

Song Title: Pursuit of Happiness
Artist: Kid Cudi

  • Why did you choose youth and community development?

    I chose youth and community development because I see a need to help nurture and empower our families and communities all around. Another big component of this was well wanting to know more about myself and how to advocate for others like myself. I had a childhood filled with drugs, suicides, and both physical and verbal abuse constantly.  It was a very dark time. I had to grow up fast and give up much of my childhood years. Which ultimately affected the way I developed. So, by choosing this, I learned more about how to better our development for success later on in life and by doing so I am hoping to give back with direction and purpose to our youth. 

  • Did you have experience working in the community before starting your degree?

    I didn't have much experience working with the community prior to coming to WMU. I worked a full-time job in high school supporting my household. Yet, I was in the National Honors society, and we did clean ups and events to assist our community. Alone I can recall going and buying food then donating it to people and their families on my own. It wasn't until I was on campus that I began working in Adult Foster Care homes and volunteering at schools that really gave me my footing with working in our communities.

  • Do you have a favorite faculty member at WMU?

    Everyone at WMU is so amazing! It would be so hard to pick a favorite, especially when everyone leaves a little impact on you. But, if I had to choose a favorite person, it would be Mark the retired Foundation Scholarships director. He was a huge motivation and reason that I was able to push through college. 

  • What are your career goals?
    As for my career goals, I'm not entirely sure yet as to what a concrete goal would be. Currently, I am a registered behavioral technician and I work with children that have autism. I have my RBT license and credentials. But, if I'm thinking long run, truthfully I am not sure where I hope to be at. Money isn't important to me, this world isn't going to be good enough on money alone. Truthfully, I guess whatever is in store for me, I hope I just make a huge impact on the lives I touch. 
  • Can you tell me what you did during your internship?

    As for the internship, I was responsible for data collection, inputting data and also printing out our questionnaires that got sent out monthly. A lot of my responsibilities included keeping stock of the mailroom and doing projects. One of my favorites memories was when I was able to partake in a community event where we read to kids and also got to talk with parents and encourage them to enroll their kids into a free program that is so beneficial! 

  • What is the most important thing you learned during your internship?

    The most important thing I learned from my internship is that it doesn't matter how small or big you are. As long as you start somewhere, you can make a difference. You don't have to be the largest company, or the smallest. Change and being able to assist those around is immeasurable. 

Youth and community development at WMU

The youth and community development concentration within the family science and human development major, prepares change agents to transform communities through an intentional investment in youth via interdisciplinary coursework and community-based experiences. This concentration invites students to critically examine youth within the context of families and communities and how individuals and organizations can address social inequalities, organize effective learning environments, and develop skills, competencies, and practices that promote human flourishing.

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