2014 Shaping the Future

Ex-Marine takes aim at economic disparities

Marcus Surles was working as a courier when he was dispatched to deliver some pamphlets to Seigle Hall. He decided then and there he wanted to attend Washington University.

Marcus Surles

“It looked pretty good to me,” said Surles, a veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps. “So a couple years later when the warehouse I was working at shut down, I came back for my education.”

Surles will graduate with a degree in political science from University College in Arts & Sciences. He plans to stay in St. Louis to address the educational and economic disparities he observed as a courier.

“I made deliveries in almost every ZIP code and I was struck by what was acceptable in some areas but not in others,” said Surles. “Through policy or legislation, I want to change that so that people will stay in this city.”

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