BENEFITING: GLEASONS GIVE A KID A DREAM
EVENT DATE: Nov 16, 2013
Growing up in the Bed Stuy section of Brooklyn comes with it’s own unique set of challenges, couple that with the fact that Mark was raised by a single mother and his story is all the more special.
A talented breaker on the streets, dance had been his passion from a very young age. Channeling that dedication, Mark ultimately attended the world renowned Joffery Ballet on a full scholarship where he ended up graduating at the top of his class.
From there, his career flourished to the point that he was able to found Roxey Ballet with his wife, where he serves as the director as well. Through hard work, Mark created tremendous opportunity for himself and ultimately built an incredible life for his beautiful wife and children, all of whom dance as well.
His successes have allowed him to expand upon his charitable life, a pursuit the value of which his mother instilled in him early on. Through his ballet company, Mark has afforded himself the ability to give back selflessly in the form of classes, performance opportunities and mentoring to individuals with severe disabilities who use wheelchairs as well as teaching students, many from inner city, high poverty communities to learn to express themselves through movement.
To guide them in channeling their anger and frustration into art in much the same way Gleason’s Give A Kid A Dream uses boxing towards the same ends. Mark, not surprisingly, works with the some of the kids in that program as well, in addition to helping guide kids away from the gangs and street life of Trenton, New Jersey.
Ever the role model, he is immensely grateful for all he has been able to do thus far and what he’ll go on to do in the future and often pinches himself in the morning to make sure it’s all real.