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Alumni spotlight: At work and at home, Aubrey Marquis is driven by philanthropy

by Public Relations | February 01, 2024

LATROBE, PA — Aubrey Marquis C’19 began working for nonprofit groups even before she graduated from Saint Vincent College. She gained insight into the region’s nonprofit sector as the program manager for the Community Foundation of Westmoreland County’s (CFWC) youth philanthropy internship program.

Aubrey Marquis with her 2022 Emerging Leader Award from Get Involved!, Inc.

“My professional career and my private life revolve around philanthropy,” Marquis, 26, said. “When you're young, you may not be able to financially contribute to nonprofits, but you can give them your time. That’s just as valuable, if not more.”

After graduation, Marquis worked as the program director and public relations coordinator at Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Laurel Region. Her efforts helped the group be named national Agency of the Year in 2020 and win the Gold Standard Award in 2021 for high-quality programming. When she saw up close the positive impact Big Brothers Big Sisters was making, Marquis realized she had to do more than talk the talk — she needed to become a mentor, too. “It’s the best thing I ever did,” she said.

The key duties for a Big Brother or Big Sister are to serve as a mentor and friend, and to provide stability. Marquis is the Big Sister for a nine-year-old boy from a single-parent family in which the mother is stretched thin by her busy job and caring for three children. “We took him to his first parade, his first baseball game, helped him carve his first pumpkin — at lot of firsts,” Marquis said.

The program matches an adult volunteer mentor (a “Big”) and a child (a “Little”), with the expectation that they will be paired until the “Little” either turns 18 or graduates from high school. The connections usually endure much longer. “We both know that when my ‘Little’ turns 18, there’s no way our relationship is just going to end,” Marquis said. “We’re going to be in each other’s lives forever.”

Marquis rejoined the CFWC in 2022 as donation services officer. She cultivates relationships with donors and guides their philanthropic endeavors and legacy goals. That same year, she won the Emerging Leader Award from Get Involved!, Inc., a Pittsburgh-based nonprofit that conducts leadership summits and development programs for students and young professionals.

“I was not even aware that somebody at Big Brothers Big Sisters had nominated me [for the award],” Marquis said. “It was quite a surprise.”

Marquis also has volunteered for The Union Mission of Latrobe, a faith-based organization which aids the homeless; Central Westmoreland Habitat for Humanity; Westmoreland Walks, Inc., which supports breast cancer patients; and Wayward Whiskers Animal Rescue in Greensburg. “Kids have my heart, but animals are a close second,” said Marquis, who’s adopted three cats and a dog over the past two years. “I’ve had a lot of different experiences at different nonprofits, which has really opened my eyes.”Aubrey Marquis (center) with a group of volunteers at a clean-up event at Coulter Park in Greensburg

In February 2024, Marquis will begin a new role in human resources with Keystone Agency Partners, an insurance brokerage company. Although it will be her first job outside the realm of nonprofits, Marquis isn’t giving up on her philanthropy. She’s already drawn up a bucket list of new volunteer activities for this year and beyond.

“There’s something like 400 active nonprofits in Westmoreland County, and they all need help in some capacity,” Marquis said. “I’m excited to do that.”



PHOTO 1: Aubrey Marquis with her 2022 Emerging Leader Award from Get Involved!, Inc.

PHOTO 2: Aubrey Marquis (center) with a group of volunteers at a clean-up event at Coulter Park in Greensburg