Marco Herndon graduated from the University of Pennsylvania in 2016 with a B.A. in Urban Studies, cum laude, honors in the major. His thesis, Soy Moderno y No Quiero Locas, interrogated the current Peruvian LGBTQ movement. It received university-wide and international recognition, being one of the few undergraduate papers read at the Latin American Studies Association’s 2016 congress. Throughout college, Marco became passionate about urban development by leading minority student organizations and working as well as studying abroad in Argentina, Brazil, Italy, and Peru. He currently works at Google. In the long-term, Marco envisions empowering young people in developing countries to share their stories and become leaders across the arts and public service.
Marco was born in Atlanta and raised in a Peruvian-American family. During middle school, he experienced verbal and physical assault because of his sexuality and often faced adversity as a low-income student. He persevered through the examples of the two most important role-models in his life: his mother—an immigrant and life-long public school teacher—and his trail-blazing sister.