Marcus Alexander Velazquez
Musician, Actor, Author, Screenwriter
Marcus Alexander Velazquez is a public speaker, event host, musician, actor, author, voice-over talent, and screenwriter. His music has been publicly endorsed by the likes of Former United States Secretary of Education Arne Duncan and Anita Padilla of Fox News. He has also been interviewed by Univision and Elizabeth Czapski of the Chicago Sun-Times regarding his positive music. He is an avid mental health advocate, having been through 3 years of counseling to navigate the ins and outs of his own childhood traumas. He's been an Assistant Trainer for a Leadership Development company and currently serves as a Disciplinarian at Mansueto High School in Chicago - a Noble Charter Network school. Throughout all of his ventures, he is focused on renewing the minds and hearts of everyone he comes into contact with. Marcus' hope is that his life experiences will allow him to gain rapport and trust with audiences around the world so that he may speak into their lives.
Marisa Gracias is a sophomore at Wolcott High School. She enjoys playing tennis, volleyball, and spending time with her friends and family. She loves to joke around with her two brothers and walk her dogs. Marisa enjoys and is enthusiastic about school and the challenges that come with it. Marisa danced at the Chicago Ballet Pre- Professional Academy for 10 years.
Author and Speaker
Michelle Kim is an Amazon best-selling author, motivational speaker, and an award-winning sales leader with highly mobile international upbringing. She attended 13 schools in 5 countries before she turned 18. Michelle cofounded a nonprofit organization MOSAIK to help people who experience constant changes thrive. Having overcome her own self-limiting beliefs, self-esteem issues and having lifted herself from the weight of emotional baggage, Michelle is on a mission to help people achieve emotional wellness so they can be the men and women they were meant to be. Michelle does this through keynotes and writing, and many more.
Architect and Educator
Mike is an architect and educator that has been working with mission driven organizations for many years with his firm Shed Studio. His work has focused on issues of sustainability and social justice, using innovative techniques to bring communities together in conversation to work toward progress for marginalized communities. He has taught at UIC, Archeworks, IIT and currently at the School of the Art Institute teaching a range of topics from design-thinking and sustainability to systems and contracts, and has a well-known role with Black Spectacles as a national leader in educating architects to become licensed. He is also the co-founder of the non-profit Territory design studio where young people practice urban design, public art, and community planning in the neighborhoods where they live and learn to have a seat at the table, working with local organizations and funders to strengthen communities through design.