Tracy: Where did you grow up? If you did not grow up in Denver, how did you end up in Denver?
Marleen: I was born and grew up in Louisiana, mostly in Lake Charles. Graduated from nursing school and moved to Houston to work at M D Anderson Cancer Hospital for 2 years, there I met my husband Paul whose father was a leukemia patient of mine. Seven months after we met, we married and I moved to Denver, his home.
Tracy: What area(s) do you volunteer with BHGH?
Marleen: I volunteered initially as a Regis Mom making meals for the Boys Hope home and as a ‘support’ family to Thomas, a BHGH scholar, during the last 5 years he was in the program. Also I have done ‘personal’ fund raising projects – for furnishing the Boys Home basement and recreation area and a “paint” project to repaint the interior of the Boys Home. Now I volunteer during BHGH events, golf tournaments and as a Circle of Hope officer. Most recently I helped with the interior decorating and staging of the Girls Home.
Tracy: What other causes are you involved in within the community?
Marleen: ENDOW & Seeds of Hope
Tracy: Why do you care about kids and education?
Marleen: Being from a large, loving, Catholic family (one of 7 children)…caring for children comes naturally. Having only one child of my own, I tend to “mother” others! Through education comes self confidence and opportunity and that’s the path to personal growth and success. I also teach 1st grade Religious Ed at St. Thomas More and have been a small group leader in the STM Bible Study program for 14 years.
Tracy: If you could give the scholars one piece of advice about growing up and being a successful college graduate, what would you tell them?
Marleen: That success comes from persistence and hard work! Believe in yourself and you can become whom ever you choose to be, regardless of your present or past situations.
Tracy: What’s your favorite part of being involved with BHGH?
Marleen: The flexibility of the involvement, that I am able to ‘plug in’ and volunteer when it suits my schedule & when my ‘talents’ are needed.
Tracy: If you could tell the whole world why BHGH is important, what would you say?
Marleen: That it changes young lives and gives them an opportunity for a better education, ‘home’ life and future. Also, the multi-level support system is set up to help the scholars succeed and to encourage them along their personal growth journey!