Chowan University student Trevor Marshall is learning to teach
MURFREESBORO, NC – “Chowan greatly changed my life,” says Trevor Marshall. “I was blessed with experiences that have helped me mature and opportunities I wouldn’t have found anywhere else. I went to England and Scotland on a scholarship and I was able to lead in organizations that will improve my outcome and standing in the professional world after I graduate.” The senior from Middlesex, NC is an elementary education major. He is also President of the Honors College, a member of Alpha Chi and Kappa Delta Pi honor societies, a Presidential Ambassador, and a student representative of the Teacher Executive Committee—where teachers and superintendents within the area come together with students and other educators.
Marshall spent most of the summer working one on one with students needing special education through Durham-based Arc of the Triangle, an organization which supports children and adults with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities in the achievement of their personal goals and dreams in the community through partnership and advocacy. Marshall has big goals and dreams of his own.
Trevor Marshall was 17 when he graduated high school and started at Chowan University. “I don’t even recognize myself anymore, I’ve changed so much,” he says. “I looked like a boy, like a little kid.”
Many things have changed since then. “The Trevor in high school was not the same Trevor you know at Chowan.” The bright and engaging President of the Honors College says he got the “sleepyhead” award in high school and was “one of those kids who never learns how to study because I never had to try in school.”
“I never envisioned myself being the President of anything or being an Ambassador for the school, or winning scholastic awards.”
One thing that hasn’t changed? His love for young people. “I’ve always had a special knack for working with children,” he says, “Whether it was buddy ball with children that have special needs, volunteer coaching youth soccer, or just taking care of my younger siblings.”
He has also always been a fighter. “I come from a family of four children with a single mom who does not make much more than ten dollars an hour,” he says. “I have no one to fall back on when it comes to my financial security.”
His “fight” is what propelled him to Chowan. “If college hadn’t worked out, I would be in the military right now. I didn’t see any other options,” he says. “College found me.” Marshall caught the eye of Chowan’s soccer coach at a game “where I lost!” He says they got murdered, but the coach said he liked my fight. “I was good, technically, but more than anything else I was a fighter.”
Soccer offered financial assistance that suddenly made college a possibility, but a few weeks into his freshman year he found himself miserable. Soccer wasn’t working out the way he expected and he was questioning his commitment to staying here. “That’s about the time that Dr. Moore pulled me aside after class,” he says. “I thought I was in trouble, but instead he asked me if I had heard about the England trip.” Marshall had heard about it, but finances making the trip an impossibility for him, he hadn’t given it much though. “He kept asking me if I wanted to go, and I kept telling him there was no way, I couldn’t afford it.” Finally, Dr. Moore explained. “He and his wife were planning on scholarshipping one student to go on the trip. He was offering it to me.”
Marshall couldn’t believe it. “Those kinds of things don’t happen to people like me,” he says. “Good things like that don’t happen where I come from.” Sure enough, Marshall found himself in England that summer. After that, he says, “I was stuck. I couldn’t leave after someone did that for me!”
He began pursuing a future as a teacher. That choice hasn’t been easy and has required a great deal of sacrifice. “Most of my money goes to paying people for transportation to and from different schools for fieldwork and observations, since most of the schools are at least a 30-minute drive away. I love soccer, but I quit playing so that I could study and work during the times that I normally would have practices.” When it comes to work, he does anything and everything he can find, up to and including working four jobs this summer.
“I want to do something that can change lives,” he says. “I grew up poor. I grew up with food banks, eviction notices. There were days that the only thing I ate were the free meals at school.”
“That’s one of the reasons I really want to go into teaching. I want to give back, I want to help others the way others have helped me, especially Dr. Moore and Mrs. Wolfskill. They have easily been the greatest influences in my life.”
“I have friendships with faculty, not just professional relationships,” Marshall says. “They truly care about me and what happens in my future.”