BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Dunbar High School freshman and 14-year-old Marque Knox has Hollywood dreams.
Pursuing his dream once seemed impossible. Viciously bullied at Dunbar, Knox thought his days on Earth were numbered after being held at gunpoint one day while walking to school.
“I really wanted to kill myself sometimes,” he said. “I didn’t want to be on Earth, but I know God put me here for a reason and God is going to guide me in the right direction.”
Knox needed a change. More importantly, he needed a chance.
Serving the last few weeks on the Johns Hopkins COVID-19 Anchor Strategy Youth Committee, he reached out to his mentor, Alicia Wilson, for help.
“One day, he asked if I knew anybody at Cristo Rey,” she says. “I didn’t know why he was asking me that question, but I said, ‘Yeah, sure, I know the principal.”
From there, Wilson called the President of Cristo Rey Jesuit High School for a favor.
Wilson, who is the Vice President of Economic Development, has connections. Marr had a dream school: Cristo Rey Jesuit High.
Wilson not only reached out to Cristo, but she also called the Steve Harvey Foundation. After hearing Knox’s story, they were all in, and so was he.
Patricia Hill is the Director of Admissions at Cristo Rey Jesuit High School. She said the school was already reviewing his application before the foundation got involved.
“Marque’s file really stood out to us with his drive and determination,” she said. “He did most of the application himself when most kids need their parents or guardians.”
Harvey is paying for his tuition, computer and uniforms.
The kid who kept getting told he wasn’t good or smart enough, who once wanted to end his life, is getting a chance at an elite education and stardom and he’s already thinking about the next generation.
“I’m doing this for the kids right behind me, the ones who are getting bullied in every other elementary, middle and High school,” Knox said. “I want to be a role model and put a positive impact in Baltimore City.”
Knox says he has used the pandemic to focus on his grades. He wants to go to Howard University and maybe one day go to acting school.