|Marquita Randle (holding certificate), a volunteer for A Pocket Full of Hope’s Pocket Players mentoring program of Tulsa, receives an Outstanding Mentor Award from Oklahoma Foundation for Excellence Chairman David L. Boren (left) and President Anil Gollahalli (second from right) during Oklahoma Mentor Day at the Capitol. They are joined by Randle’s mentees, Daeveon, Skye, Justin, McKinzie, Tasanee and Trinity. (Photo by Travis Caperton, Oklahoma State Capitol)|
Pocket Player Mentors
A Pocket Full of Hope has named longtime participant Marquita Randle as its Pocket Player outstanding mentor for Oklahoma Mentor Day.
Pocket Player Mentors is designed to help youth develop life-skills and knowledge using music, theater and dance. Since its founding in 2000, the program has served more than 5,000 youths, ages 7 to 12, from Tulsa and Osage counties.
“We chose Marquita for her love and dedication to a Pocket Full of Hope and for her many volunteer hours,” said Lester Shaw, founder and executive director. “She started as a dance instructor but has added tutoring and social skills building to her arsenal of mentorship qualities.”
Marquita joined the program when she was 6 years old as a participant and is now a college student who volunteers more than 20 hours a week mentoring younger students. As a child, she loved dancing and was determined to learn Thriller with the older kids, always striving to be her best. Marquita attended Carver Middle School and then went on to Booker T. Washington High School, where she graduated in 2014. She now attends Tulsa Community College and works part-time at The Airport Trampoline Park, an indoor recreation center. She aspires to have a career in the performing arts.
“Marquita’s first love is Praise Dancing,” Lester said. “Not only does she teach this method of dance to Pocket Participants, but she also teaches a large troupe of Praise Dancers at her church. Marquita has been teaching participants to dance for more than five years in A Pocket Full Of Hope.”
Expanding its impact, A Pocket Full of Hope brought a social responsibility training curriculum to students at Central Junior High, Central High School, McLain Junior High and McLain High School for the 2015-16 school year. Begun as a vision in 2008, A Pocket Full of Hope’s Community Revitalization Center and Educational Research Institute, formerly Tulsa’s historic Big 10 Ballroom, is becoming a performance hall and cultural tourism center for Tulsa.