Taylor Marquis, recipient of the Most Valuable Student scholarship in 2014, knows that hospital work is no easy endeavor. Marquis believes that due to the sheer volume of people coming in and out, it is easy to look at a hospital like a mechanic shop—drivers annually dropping off their vehicles for inspection or the occasional repair. However, due to his experience with treatment for a heart defect throughout his childhood, Marquis has learned the importance of a doctor’s positive bedside manner.
This doctor-patient relationship, especially when it pertains to children, is of utmost importance to Marquis. He’s on a quest to become a pediatrician to “alleviate the stress that comes with visits to the doctor’s office” while taking the time to educate parents, children and his community about positive well-being. To accomplish this goal, Marquis worked diligently in his youth and earned himself a spot at Harvard University where he studied biology. While at Harvard, Marquis worked in multiple labs researching limb development, heart attacks and lung cancer. He also shadowed multiple physicians at various hospitals during his undergraduate years.
Marquis’s passion to educate and assist children comes in large part from his experience as a fifth-grade teacher through the Harvard Civics Program. For three years during college, Marquis taught a weekly American government and civics course in Boston grade schools. Marquis learned the most when he was assigned to a particularly impoverished neighborhood. His students were from low-income households and most were raised by a single parent or grandparent. Marquis had to learn how to instill a passion for learning in students who started out as non-responsive and, in some cases, were violent toward one another.
Marquis took this opportunity to be an “agent of change.” He began extensively planning lectures, games and quizzes, trading in generic presentations and activities for a tailor-made experience that fit his classroom’s specific needs and desires.
Marquis’s extra efforts paid off. Students started speaking up and becoming more involved. Instead of quizzing students about the Supreme Court, Marquis assigned each student with a unique role that engaged them as members of the Supreme Court Case, allowing them to argue and defend matters that mattered to them.
Things might have seemed discouraging to Marquis the first day of classes, but by the end of the semester, the students gave Marquis hand-written letters thanking him for a wonderful classroom experience. The students, many of whom were problematic for other teachers in the school, called Marquis’s American government class the highlight of their week. This experience shows that Marquis is defined by perseverance and passion. But, this shouldn’t come as a shock to anybody, one of Marquis’s guiding phrases is, “If not me, then who?”
Along with his past students, many of Marquis’s mentors have positive things to say about his future as a pediatrician.
“Taylor’s inquisitive nature, love of knowledge, enthusiasm for life, work ethic and kind manner are contagious and push others around him to strive for their best,” says Jeffrey Spees, head of a laboratory at the Harvard Department of Medicine. “He is exactly the type of person that one would trust to care for their child.”
It’s easy to see why the Elks National Foundation chose Marquis to be a 2018 Gunther & Lee Medical School Scholar. His experiences have revealed unwavering dedication and humanity towards those in need. Like Marquis, we look forward to watching this scholarship help him reach his lifetime goal of becoming a pediatrician and continue a life spent serving others.
“The Weigel Scholarship will—as the Elks scholarship already has—serve as a constant reminder of my duty to serve others.”
After losing her husband, Gunther, to a staph infection in November 2009, the late Lee Weigel wanted to improve the quality of healthcare in our country. To realize that goal, she partnered with the Elks National Foundation to endow the Gunther and Lee Weigel Medical School Scholarship, which helps Elks scholars pursue careers in medicine.