Friday, November 11, 2011


At 6’3”, Mark Lenon is an imposing presence, but it is not just his physical build that attracts attention. He is a complex young man with many artistic facets. Start with his ethnic background – a mixture of African American, white, and Native American. He is the current Graphic Design student from the Paul Simon Job Corps Center completing his Work-based Study requirement at THE VOICE Newspapers.
Adding to his cultural diversity, Mark grew up in Independence, Kansas, spent his teenage years in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and then joined his brothers and sister in Chicago. His hobbies reflect his artistic interests, too. Mark enjoys writing and listening to music, being the DJ at parties, hanging with friends, and going to concerts. He plays the guitar, drums, and piano. He takes creating, performing, and producing music very seriously and believes he might even make a career of it.
“I believe anyone who has the imagination to create music that pleases other people deserves a shot at changing the music industry,” Mark observes.
Mark is also an athlete, enjoying gymnastics, skateboarding, long-boarding, and Parkour. He likes eating seafood and his favorite colors are black, gray, and purple.
Mark spent most of his time in his early years with his grandparents and his mother. They lived in a very small town and there were not a lot of people from outside the state living there. His middle school was a couple of blocks away, so he walked to school. “Walking is very natural for me and I’d walk everywhere if I could.”
Mark says he never had any problem making friends and getting along with everyone, so he’s always had a large circle of friends. In school, he played drums and percussion in the marching band through his sophomore year in high school.
Mark has been attending the Paul Simon Chicago Job Corps Center for 15 months. He says he joined the Job Corps to get his life together and build a future doing something he loves. So, he is studying Graphic Design. He says his most important consideration was to obtain a GED so he can go to college and study Photography, Film, or Journalism, and then get a job.
He says he likes the fact that he can go directly to college from the Job Corps or enter the job market ready to work. “Job Corps helps you with finding a job and searching for a career position just for you. You are in control of your own destiny and you have what it takes to take matters into your own hands,” Mark explains.
After the Job Corps, Mark says he expects to have a job in film or photography that is financially and spiritually fulfilling. He plans to have an apartment or condo so he can be living independently.
What are two of Mark’s biggest dreams? To go on tour with a DJ, band, or group that he listens to. He also wants to write a book and get it published.
Currently, Mark is completing his Work-based Study requirement to graduate from the Job Corps. He is using what he has learned in class to lay out and design THE VOICE Newspapers each week. Just another step on his road to success!

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