Marleisha Cox ’15: “Leading By Example”


Courtesy: Marleisha Cox

Marleisha Cox is ASB President of HS3, captain of the Evergreen Girls Basketball team, and an Act Six Scholar.

Marleisha Cox grew up in the South Park neighborhood, and attended Beverly Park Elementary.  She is the oldest of four children, and had a lot of responsibility growing up to take care of her siblings and serve as a role model.  At Cascade, Marleisha considered herself a “really shy person” until she found her passion for basketball, which allowed her to open up.

Marleisha attends Health and Human Services High School (HS3) on the Evergreen Campus.  She has played basketball all four years, and is captain of the Evergreen Girls Basketball team.  Marleisha said that she has always been someone who led by example (showing up to practice on time, giving 100% on the court), and her coach played her at different positions because of her versatility.

“In life you’re going to be put into different environments,” she said. “But I’m thankful to have people in my community who care about me, who push me, who see me as capable.”


Courtesy: The Highline Times

Marleisha is ASB President of HS3, and ran for student government to convince her classmates not to be afraid of showing school spirit.

“We come from a low-income community, and there are a lot of things we can’t change, but we can find something to be proud of,” she said.  “If you find something you like about the school, then being in a low-income community and the surroundings won’t matter.”

Growing up, Marleisha’s parents always found a way to work and provide for their family, and told her that they wanted her to succeed.  “Because my parents provided a strong foundation,” she said, “they wanted us to go above and beyond what they were able to do.”


Marleisha will be the first in her family to attend college, and was awarded the prestigious Act Six Scholarship.  As an Act Six Scholar, Marleisha will receive a four-year, full-ride scholarship to Pacific Lutheran University, where she plans to study nursing.

Marleisha hopes to inspire other people as an Act Six Scholar: “As a person of color, as someone who came from a community where people said you could never succeed, from a school that people called ‘EverGhetto’…I wanted people to say, ‘If she can do it, then why can’t I?'”

“It doesn’t matter what high school you go to.  It doesn’t matter if you come from a low-income neighborhood,” Marleisha said.  “I grew up in the same neighborhood, and I went to the same school.  Hard work does pays off, and I hope to inspire other people.”

After college, Marleisha wants to come back to her hometown and help educate her community about ways to be healthy, such as healthy eating habits and promoting an active lifestyle.  “I want to come back to the community that really supported me,” Marleisha said.  “My goal was always to give back, and I can do that by working in a health-related field.”

Marleisha also hopes to come back and be a mentor.  She wants to tell future students: “I went to the same school and went to college, and yes–you can do it too.”

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