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Alumni Spotlight: Marcus Kernizan

profile picAt age 24, Marcus Kernizan is a 21st Century Leaders alumni, a graduate of Georgia State University, where he was the President of the SGA and received the highest leadership award during graduation, and is a recent hire as a consultant at Accenture, a 21CL corporate partner.

Marcus joined 21st Century Leaders in 2007 while in high school at Martin Luther King Jr. High School. It was through 21CL experiences that Marcus’ passion for leadership was forever changed. He says the leadership skills he learned and the professionals he met transformed him to take action at his own high school and ultimately become a strong leader during college and in his new career. As Marcus makes his leadership transition into the work force, we caught up with him about how 21CL shaped him as a leader.


“21st Century Leaders impacted my life in several ways in high school. By participating in the summer leadership institute, Oglethorpe and Leadership Unplugged: A CNN Experience (now Turner Voices Youth Media Institute), I was exposed to various professionals and careers in the media and news industry, which fueled my passion for leadership and on air broadcasting and video editing. And I was able to have a sit-down conversation with one of the company executives where I asked him plenty of questions about his career, and he was able to give me future career advice, ” Kernizan said. “The semester following that summer, I went back to my high school and started our first live morning news program. Looking back, my passion for technology probably wouldn’t have been so strong if I did not participate in this program.”

After his high school graduation in 2009, Marcus went on to attend Georgia State University where he took on leadership roles and received the highest leadership award at GSU’s graduation.

“Because of my experience with 21st Century Leaders, I felt very comfortable with getting involved in leadership positions in college such as serving as President of the Student Government Association at Georgia State University. During my term as President, many of the skills I acquired in 21st Century Leaders were put to use,” Kernizan said. “For example, when I attended dinners and luncheons with University faculty, staff, and city leaders, I used the etiquette skills that were taught in the program. Also I learned the fundamentals of public speaking while in 21CL, which I definitely put to use in college and now will in my career.”

Congratulations, Marcus on your leadership accomplishments thus far! We are proud to call you a 21st Century Leader.