Iowa Wesleyan College junior Jamarco Clark has been selected as a Rising Leaders Fellow through Teach for America.
Clark is one of only 100 students across the U.S. selected for this honor. His selection was based on his commitment to service in the community and passion for promoting education among at-risk youth.
Clark has devoted more than 400 hours of service in the community since arriving on campus in 2010. This year he designed and carried out the Sneakers for Success program in the Mount Pleasant Community School District as part of his Leadership and Service class. Through this project he made new shoes available to 21 local elementary school-aged children. He is also currently involved with the Henry County Mentoring program and a Lunch-Buddies program organized and carried out by IWC football players and coaches.
“A lot of people have helped me out,” said Clark. “I want to pass on that spirit of service, and not only help people but also instill in others the importance of giving back.”
Clark admits that as a freshman he saw the College-wide service requirement as something he just “had to do.” However, in the process of completing the requirement, he realized that what he was doing mattered to him as much as it mattered to others.
“I saw pretty quickly how much even the little things I did mattered to others,” he said. “People really appreciated what we were doing and it showed we could really have an impact.”
“Jamarco is well past meeting his service requirement and now tells me that service is his True North… that thing that he can always go back to for meaning and purpose,” said Dr. Alisha Vincent, Director of Service Learning at Iowa Wesleyan.
Last summer Clark was selected as an intern with Upward-Bound, a national program that works with teens to provide fundamental support for college readiness.
Over 12 months, each Fellow designs and leads a high-impact project to promote educational equity, builds a team among their peers, collaborates with a local mentor, and attends a national training forum, the Rising Leaders Summit. Rising Leaders mentors are Teach for America staff members, corps members, and alumni that work closely with fellows throughout the fellowship. Mentors advise fellows as they work on their fellowship projects and provide fellows with access to Teach for America alumni and organizational partners.