Mainland Regional, Linwood, New Jersey
Mark began researching human sexuality in the sixth grade. By high school, he knew that no one would ever publicize LBGTQ topics and issues out of fear of being ridiculed. Once Mark began to openly support the LBGTQ community, he was bullied, as expected, and he struggled to find support from others. Mark explains that he “needed to re-humanize the dehumanized LBGTQ community,” He contacted the Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Education Network and was empowered to consult with local media, the school board, and New Jersey State legislators. Mark was invited to share his experiences at the L.A. Respect Awards, where he also presented Julia Roberts with the Humanitarian Award. Mark is a member of the National Honor Society, the U.S. House of Representatives Frank LoBiondo Youth Advisory Council, the NJ All-State Orchestra, Interact Rotary Club, and the Academic Team. Mark has been accepted to attend the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business.