When asked why he is committed to supporting UCAN’s youth with his time, talent and treasure, UCAN Governing Board member Markell Bridges has a simple answer: “Because I was them.”
Markell was a standout high school student, ranked 4th in his graduating class, and yet did not have his sights set on college. “I didn’t grow up with my father, and no one in my family had gone to college. My friends were all going to college but I didn’t know what that meant,” he recalls. “Fortunately I stumbled into it eventually by chance, but I got kicked out a few months later because I couldn’t pay my bills.”
He was able to finish with the financial support of the University of Arkansas’ alumni association, and that college degree has opened up a world of opportunity for him. He has enjoyed a 20-year career as Director of Information Systems for Mondelez International and Kraft Foods.
Markell is currently mentoring a 17-year-old young man from UCAN who wants to attend college, but didn’t know where to start. Markell has connected him with a rigorous ACT prep course and has helped him travel for college tours.
Markell’s commitment to UCAN’s youth extends to his decision to include UCAN in his estate plans as a member of our 1869 Society. “When we talk about giving back, it’s not just about giving my time to the board or about mentoring youth, but it’s also important to give the needed financial support that help keep organizations like UCAN afloat. UCAN is an institution that is very important to me, so it’s included in my estate plans.”
Markell adds, “UCAN is one of the best run organizations that I’ve ever been involved with. I feel that my small contributions go a long way because they are well-managed.
UCAN invites you to join Markell and become a member of our 1869 Society. Named for the year in which UCAN was founded, the society honors donors who have included UCAN in their estate plans.