From Romeo, Michigan, meet Student State Representative Marques, Be Strong’s November 2020 Student of the Month!

“We need to be more positive for the greater good, for our country, and the world. The reason why I chose to be strong is because there is a misunderstanding about people with special needs. And I’m here to change that.” – Marques

As empathy and understanding are byproducts of education, Marques has made it his mission to share his experiences with others as a way to connect with different people.

As a young autistic Black teen in the midst of injustice, Marques recently made a video detailing his experience as a minority and how it affected him in, hopes of motivating others to better understand their peers who they may view as different, whether autistic, Black, both… or neither.

Marques also looks to help people gain a better understanding of what people with DIFFabilities can do. As for Marques, from a young age, his experience with autism led him to explain to people what it means to have special needs. He wants to expand that understanding, so that people can “join together, even though they are different.”

Knowing firsthand how difficult it can be for some students to reach out and make friends, Marques helped create a space at school for students to feel comfortable welcoming others to join them and play games in order to get to know one another. He has been a huge advocate for promoting positivity and creating big changes in his community.

As a young man with a multitude of messages worthy of sharing, Marques frequently turns to the Romeo Rock to get them across. The Romeo Rock is a Michigan landmark and has been painted again and again for decades, growing with every coat, each time bearing a different message of positivity. Recently, Marques has used the Romeo Rock to encourage struggling community members to reach out to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, as well as to honor others who’ve passed away.

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To learn more about Be Strong’s free programs, email To nominate your inspiring student to lead inclusive change, visit today.

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