A longtime instructor of BankWork$ and CareerWork$ Ready at YWCA Seattle | King | Snohomish, Marc Hill graduated 31 cohorts—totaling over 1,000 students—with nearly 800 finding employment during his time teaching CareerWork$ programs. He passed away unexpectedly in 2020, but today, his legacy with CareerWork$ lives on through the Marc Hill Rising Star Award.
Created in Spring 2021, the Marc Hill Rising Star Award, presented by CareerWork$, recognizes a graduate of BankWork$ or CareerWork$ Medical who has shown significant personal growth and transformation since starting class. After receiving nominations from instructors across the country, the CareerWork$ team selects one recipient each quarter. During a surprise ceremony, often joined by colleagues, coworkers, and friends, the recipient receives a certification and cash award to enhance and enrich their new career. This award honors Marc’s legacy of supporting those around him and helping them achieve their best.
“Marc Hill had a way of looking for every opportunity to educate and empower applicants who had the odds stacked against them,” said Ruby Sloan, Program Manager at CareerWork$. “Hundreds of graduates’ lives are forever changed because Marc believed in them when the world would have counted them out. His legacy will live on through the Marc Hill Rising Star Award.”
In 2012, Ruby enrolled in Marc’s BankWork$ class (co-instructed with Mercedes Rippel) at YWCA Seattle | King | Snohomish. Feeling mentally stuck, Ruby wasn’t sure a career in financial services was attainable for her, but thanks to Marc’s guidance, she developed her confidence and self-worth. “Marc saw my potential when I couldn’t see it in myself,” said Ruby. “He showed me that I didn’t have to stay stuck in my situation. Lesson by lesson, he taught me how to dig out of my darkness and despair. He showed me how to be successful by simply looking for opportunities to help my clients and coworkers.”
“He had a way of teaching lessons in a memorable and meaningful way,” noted Ruby. “He was transparent and honest about expectations in banking, and it helped us prepare for the reality of the careers we were all pursuing. Marc was a funny guy, full of cliché sayings and dad jokes, and was consistently his authentic self in an unapologetic way. To be in his presence meant you were either laughing or learning. He dropped nuggets of wisdom in everyday conversations that I still draw on today.”
In 2016, after several promotions in banking, Ruby returned to the YWCA as a Career Navigator, where she became colleagues with Marc. Shortly after, she joined the CareerWork$ national team, where she supports instructors throughout the country. Like Marc, all of our instructors continue to inspire, encourage, and train participants who are looking to enter the workforce.
Dion Willis, fellow Program Manager at CareerWork$, who also worked alongside Marc during his time at the YWCA, was deeply inspired by his impact. “I learned so much from him,” said Dion. “Marc genuinely cared about all of his students. It’s hard not to shed a tear thinking about what he meant to the Seattle community and all the lives he touched.”
Ruby believes the Marc Hill Rising Star Award honors Marc’s legacy by “allowing our instructors to nominate and share the stories of graduates who have overcome obstacles that others may have otherwise not known or seen. It recognizes all the effort behind closed doors that many of our graduates have to put in just to have a chance at a career with growth potential. Some of us don’t just start from the bottom; we start in a hole with no way out until someone like Marc throws us a shovel and brings us hope, giving us a way out. The award also allows the graduate to feel seen and celebrated. It’s a reminder that this is just the beginning, the sky is the limit, and they are a Rising Star.”
As of January 2023, four recipients have won the Marc Hill Rising Star Award—Dynasty, Alexis, Deepa, and Delaney—each with unique stories of overcoming adversity while pursuing their career dreams. We look forward to celebrating more recipients of this award in the months and years to come!
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