TGI’s Holiday Challenge Featuring Marcus Austin!

22 Dec

Marcus and Michaela

Marcus with UCB grad student and Street Scholars volunteer, Michaela Simmons.

One of TGI’s most stalwart members, Marcus Austin, talks with Michaeal Simmons about the importance of TGI and Street Scholars in his life.

How did you get involved with Street Scholars?
After I was released from prison, I was looking for an opportunity to learn how to use the computer, and found classes at the Gamble Institute. I took that opportunity and I turned it into being part of the Gamble Institute. Then a few of us at TGI started the Street Scholars Program because … well who knows better what people coming from jail need than ourselves? People learn better from people that have actually had the experience. I did a decade and a half in prison. I’ve been home for three years now. I’m very excited with the prospect of being able to move forward with my life and to help others.

How has Street Scholars helped you with your education and your life?
They’re helping me with resources to move forward with my life. I have a sense of belonging with my Street Scholar family; they’ve helped me not just with education, but also with life. My housing situation was in turmoil about a year and a half ago. I was stressed out because I was tapping out of the transitional housing and had to do it on my own. I needed someone that could help me acclimate to life on the outside, and Street Scholars was there.

What do you love most about being in college?
Learning new things. I’m 56 years of age and I graduated from Laney College this past May, and will be finishing up at Merritt soon. I feel like every time I come here and step onto campus, I’ve opened up the opportunity for me to learn something new.

Why should someone give to TGI and the Street Scholars Program?
You’re not just making a donation, you’re helping someone fast-forward their life. Even though we’re here on campus, life still takes over. As formerly incarcerated people, we still have other issues in our real lives. But, like myself, we’re sticking to our guns, and we’re showing up to class everyday; we’re moving forward with our educations and our lives. There is just much so change you can create in these students’ lives with a donation to TGI!

Thank you Marcus for all you do for TGI.  You are wonderful and we love you!  Help create change in students’ lives, donate today!

How much should you give? No amount is too small (or too big!) and every dollar helps. Here are some ways your contribution will support Street Scholars.

$1000 supports one scholar in the Street Scholars program for one academic year (two semesters).
$500 supports one scholar in the Street Scholars program for one semester.
$250 supports one scholar in the Street Scholars Summer Leadership Training Program.
$100 provides a month of sustenance (snacks and drinks) for our hungry scholars!
$50 provides program materials for one scholar for one academic year (two semesters).
$25 provides program materials for one scholar for one semester.

All contributions are tax deductible. You will receive an IRS receipt within two weeks of your contribution.

READY, SET, GIVE! Help us reach our goal of $12,000 by December 31, 2014.

CLICK HERE to donate now!

To donate by check – make checks payable to: The Gamble Institute.  Mailing address: The Gamble Institute, c/o Elizabeth Marlow, 5214F Diamond Heights Blvd, No. 134, San Francisco, CA 94131-2175. THANK YOU!


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