WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. – Marcus Walton has traveled the world working for the U.S. Dept. of Homeland Security as a federal agent, but the path to get there started at the White Plains Youth Bureau.
Tuesday, he returned home to give back to the Youth Bureau by talking to students about his job.
“I get the satisfaction of making people feel safe without them knowing it,” he said. “Sometimes you do something you get a pat on the back. But no one knows what I do. So it’s kind of like a rewarding satisfaction.”
While the 2001 White Plains High School graduate could not go into detail about his job, he talked to the kids about some of the interesting places he has been. Sheila Foley, who has worked at the Youth Bureau for 25 years and watched Walton grow up, said the kids have never had so many questions for a guest.
“Just to watch your kids grow up and see them and know that what you do makes a difference is huge,” she said, brimming with pride about the exceptional example Walton is for her current students. “It’s huge because the kids remember what you do in their childhood and to see it is great. It’s the best job in the world.”
Samuel Jerrick, 15, said he was amazed at all of the places Walton has seen and liked hearing about his job.
“That’s nice because we know that Youth Bureau can take us to different places in life if you just keep on the right path,” he said.
Walton said going through school he was picked on and Youth Bureau staff helped him to always look forward. This resonated with Chelsea Mosquera, 15, who said she hopes to be a lawyer one day. She added that the summer career academy is a program that helps her keep her eyes looking forward.
Walton attended the University of Maine on a four-year football scholarship. He played running back and linebacker at White Plains High School. In college, he was moved to defensive end. He tried out for several NFL teams, but a hamstring injury hindered his prospects.
Luckily, he had had a backup plan to work for the government since his ninth grade science teacher brought in an FBI agent to talk to his class.
“He talked about what he did and I fell in love with it,” he said.