Kalamazoo College's Student Newspaper
Mallika Mitra Staff Writer
You may know Marquise Griffin ‘15 as a member of K Crew, Poetry Collective, Caribbean Society, or Black Student Organization. You may know him as a Student Chaplain or a leader of the Christian Student Organization. What you may not know about Griffin is that he was recently selected to attend the National Student Leadership Forum on Faith and Values in Washington D.C.
Born and raised in St. Louis, Mo., the 19 year-old finds that being a leader on a small campus can be difficult.
“You really get a sense that there’s no difference between personal you and leadership you. They’re the same person. And I think in that sense, that makes me being a leader a little more genuine,” said Griffin.
However, he may face a larger struggle as a leader: Griffin is 90 percent deaf. He lost most of his hearing when he was young, but he has not let it stop him. After taking speech classes as a child, Griffin had the mindset that if he was successful and competitive in speech and debate organizations, he would overcome the setbacks associated with his hearing loss.
“My hearing loss has really played a part in making me develop in terms of my personality, and I guess as a leader. When I was younger, I sort of viewed it as a curse. Now, I see it as a blessing because I can see all the things that it has done for me.”
According to Griffin, the NSLF he has been chosen to attend is “based on the belief that love is the greatest force there is and that Jesus’ model of love, as depicted in the bible, is one the greatest examples of how leadership should be conducted.”
He hopes this forum will teach him how love can be shown through actions and words to facilitate leadership.
“I’m excited to see just how different their leadership training is going to be from the training I’ve received before,” he said of the forum that focuses on spirituality.
Griffin says he is humbled by this honor.
“It’s not about making me look good. I really just want to use it to help others. Whatever I learn from this leadership conference, I want to be able to use it to help my fellow human being.”