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Meet Marleisha Cox – Act Six Scholar Profile

Meet one of our newest Act Six scholars, Marleisha Cox. A 19 year old native of Seattle’s White Center neighborhood, Marleisha is a freshman attending Pacific Lutheran University (PLU), where she is pursuing a Bachelor of Arts degree in Social Work with a Sociology minor. When she’s not diligently studying with the rest of her cadre, she’s giving it all on the court as a member of PLU’s Women’s Basketball Team.

For Marleisha, Act Six’s mission of empowering young urban leaders through education and leadership development, has been, what she describes as “growing experience,” as she is constantly challenged and learning more and more during her first year in college.SOS

One of the challenges that Marleisha recounts is the massive culture shock that she faced coming from White Center to PLU. She states that, “After going to Evergreen High School, I was so used to a lot of diversity and different expression of culture. It has been hard for me to adjust to this difference”. Nevertheless, Marleisha sees purpose in her time at PLU:

 “I can use my education to make a difference in my neighborhood,” Marleisha says. “Act Six has been the reason why I wanted to major in social work because I know with this degree I can work back at my old high school and help change the negative stigma that people of White Center face.” With scholars like Marleisha, we can be very hopeful about the future of our urban communities.

When asked what advice she might have for potential Act Six applicants, Marleisha states, “My advice is to have a mindset to grow when you reach college. Not everything is going to be cookies and cupcakes like it’s represented on television. Adjusting to this new environment is going to be a good challenge so that we can grow as individuals; if we were always in our comfort zones than we would not grow.”

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