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The chance to work in Washington at the behest of the President is a dream some spend their entire lives planning, right from their first internship. Marco Davis, the Deputy Director of the White House’s Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanics, readily admits that he is not one of those people. His career evolved from taking advantage of unscripted opportunities rather than precisely choreographed moves.

However, one constant runs through his journey. From his first job as a high school counselor at the New York-based leadership development program Prep for Prep to his current role, Davis has always believed that the world works best when you position young people to not just learn, but to lead. “There is a tremendous amount of talent, intellect, creativity and optimism within young people that is all too often not tapped into,” said Davis. “It is not allowed to grow early enough, that is not noticed or supported by various systems and infrastructures in society.”

Davis has spent his life nurturing that talent in communities of color at home and abroad. In his decade plus time at the National Council of La Raza, he designed and established the organization’s Center for Emerging Latino Leadership, its annual weeklong Líderes Summit, and various other activities that to this day help financially, academically and emotionally support first generation Latino students.

Marco Davis speaking at Temple University 2

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