October 5, 2017 3:58 pm

Pierce College alum Gregory Marks knows all too well what it’s like to struggle. He experienced homelessness, addiction and hunger before entering rehab and turning his life around. He enrolled at Pierce College at 47 years old armed with a GED and the goal to create a better life for himself. He calls his experience at Pierce College life-changing and truly inspiring.

“When I arrived at Pierce College, I felt that the entire staff and faculty wanted me to succeed,” Marks said. “But computers, math and relearning how to learn was a challenge for me. With the support of Pierce College faculty and staff, and their understanding and passion for education, I graduated. I want more students to understand the value in accepting help and giving back, and to realize they can achieve phenomenal things.”

The 2014 Pierce College Fashion Merchandising grad is making it his goal to help others overcome the obstacles standing in their way of a better life. He founded Right Now Today, an organization aimed at empowering people to reach their goals.

In an effort to help Pierce College students facing hardship, the organization is hosting a special event called Fashion with a Focus on Nov. 4 at Tacoma’s Museum of Glass. The fashion show is presented in partnership with Plato’s Closet, and proceeds will benefit the Pierce College Foundation. Organizers have a fundraising goal of $5,000-$10,000 to support the foundation’s ability to provide emergency funds to students in need.

Students at Pierce College can get involved in the event in a number of ways. Organizers are holding auditions for runway models in all shapes and sizes on Oct. 13 at 5 p.m. in the Fort Steilacoom Health Education Center. Students also have the opportunity to volunteer as stylists who will work with models backstage.

Pierce College Business Department Coordinator Paul Gerhardt, Ph.D. has been recruiting Fashion Merchandising students to get involved in this event as a way to gain industry experience. “This is going to be an elegant, first-class event,” Gerhardt said. “It is a wonderful opportunity for students to gain experience they can add to their resume.”

The Fashion with a Focus show takes place Nov. 4 from 7-11 p.m., and tickets are $50 for general admission, or $100 for VIP admission. For more information on how to get involved in the event as a volunteer or model, or for ticket information, please contact Gregory Marks at gregmarks@rightnowtoday.org.