DETROIT - Several years ago, as Monique Marks contemplated law school her soon to be husband, Attorney Bertram Marks told her "You would make a fine lawyer, but you are really a social worker. You should get a Masters Degree In Social Work."
Monique took his advice and has been social working ever since.
In 1997 she applied to be a social worker at Franklin Wright Settlement, a multi-service social agency on Detroit's eastside.
She got the job.
Each year she got a promotion and after 4 years time, Marks was the CEO of the organization.
Now about 1,500 folks come through her doors weekly. Marks has worked with one generation after another, grandparents, adults and children.
All types of people come to her daily, children, seniors citizens, parents and community folks.
They come for food or programs.
Marks and her organization offer early childhood development, mentoring, tutoring, sports and special programs just for seniors.
For example, several years ago there was a rash of crimes geared towards seniors on social security check day.
"We got to do something about this," said Marks.
So she got a van and scheduled pick-ups for seniors.
Marks took them to the bank, took them to the store, to pick up medicine and she brought them back to the center for a meal before taking them home.
The Problem went away.
Now you might think, yeah that is good but, isn't that is part of her job?
Marks is a social worker at heart and that does not stop when she leaves her job.
Through the past years Marks has taken into her home, at least 15 young people who need help.
She has feed these children, clothed them, helped them into college and kept them there.
Marks even helped one young person buy a car.
During this period of helping others, she has not forgotten about their parents.
She has helped the parents with the struggles of keeping communication going between the family and their children.
Not all has not been smooth sailing.
One of her, "children" went astray.
He ended up on the streets, becoming the dope man.
Marks knows where he is, she tracks him down everyday, checking on him.
She brings him food and love.
"I won't give up on him, one day he will come around," said Marks. "He knows that I still love him and will be there for him."
If that was not enough, every year she sponsors bus tours to colleges.
Marks fills up the buses with high school students and takes them to visit colleges, which helps keep the kids on the road to becoming college students by getting them in the mind-set that education is key to their success.
Monique Marks with the support of her husband, Rev. Bertram Marks, has transformed countless lives.
If ever you go to a Tiger's game and you see lots of children surrounding a particular couple, you can almost bet it's Marks and her husband, doing what they do, "making a difference."
Monique Marks is truly an "Everyday Hero, Making a Difference."
On a daily basis in spite of life's struggles and challenges, there are people who reach out and make a positive impact on the lives of others.
That is why Local 4 and a prominent local clergyman, Rev. V. Lonnie Peek, Jr. have teamed up to tell their stories.
Do you know an everyday hero in your life? E-mail us and tell us about them.
About Rev. Lonnie Peek, Jr.
Rev. V. Lonnie Peek, Jr. located to Detroit in 1975. After teaching 2 years in DPS, he went to WSU receiving a Masters of Social Work, an activist on campus he created the Association of Black Students. He is an entrepreneur and serves on such civic boards as New Detroit, Inc, Detroit Riverfront Conservancy and the Detroit Economic Growth Corporation. With extensive radio background expanding 25 years, he writes a weekly column for the Michigan Chronicle. He has been a regular on local/ national television shows dealing with political and social issues An ordained minister and seminary graduate, he serves on the executive committee and is the public relations chairman for the Council of Baptist Pastors of Detroit and Vicinity and is Assistant Pastor at Greater Christ Baptist Church.