Marshall grew up in the small town of Paw Paw, Michigan and is the eldest of four, with one brother and two sisters. By the time he graduated high school, Marshall had come to strongly value independence and self-determination and knew he wanted to provide a good example to his siblings. He encouraged each sibling to seek out special interests and skills and to work to develop them. He urged them to set high goals and to work hard to meet those goals.
Marshall graduated with honors from American University in 2004 with Bachelor’s Degrees in both International Relations and Political Science, as well as a specialized certification in Leadership. During his freshman year, he participated in American University’s Freshman Service Experience. The next year, he headed the organization, which maintains more than 1,000 members and employees, and for which he coordinated over 15,000 hours of community service. He went on to earn a Masters Degree in Public Administration with a focus on Non-Profit Management from American University.
Marshall has extensive development experience working in the South African Parliament and has independently created several community development programs on the continent of Africa. After studying in the U.S., experiencing other cultures and communities studying abroad, and watching each of his siblings graduate high school and begin college, Marshall knew for sure that he wanted to continue to help people and communities on a wider scale; to encourage them to recognize and realize their potential, and to take it a step further.
Leadership Initiatives was created to empower men, women, and children around the world to determine their own futures, and to help break the cycles of poverty and dissatisfaction that plague so many communities worldwide. It also involves students in the United States by connecting our future leaders with those in other countries who have discovered, through Leadership Initiatives’ programs, their ability to lead. Over the past decade, with Marshall as Executive Director, Leadership Initiatives has grown to help create and expand 54 independent businesses, raise over 1.5 million dollars for business creation in developing communities, and create hundreds of jobs– thus affording parents the opportunity to send more children to school.
During this time Marshall has received distinction for his work with Leadership Initiatives from the Youth Action Network, the Starbucks Foundation, GlobalGiving, the International Youth Foundation, and Georgetown University, winning their distinguished Outstanding Partner for Social Justice award.
Under his tenure Leadership Initiatives has grown its fundraising base tenfold, been honored as GlobalGiving’s Best All Around Nonprofit out of over 5000 organizations, and received endorsements and partnerships with the past two US Ambassadors to Nigeria, the Embassy of Nigeria in the United States, Omnilearn, IFast, Siemens, the US State Department and three members of Congress for their efforts to develop communities across the globe.