In conversation with Marcus Rashford, a football player, political activist and philanthropist to drive societal change. For many of us, achieving our dream would be enough, but Marcus wants to give all kids a chance to dream. He encouraged the English government to continue sending food vouchers when COVID-19 began, provoked a passionate debate in parliament, and has set his sights on a bigger target: the end of child food poverty in Britain.
WHAT IS YOUR MAIN GOAL WITH YOUR INITIATIVES?
I feel like people from where I’ve come from, sometimes they need a little bit of help. And for children in general, when we give them that little bit of help, we give them a little more drive and determination to go and achieve things that they might not think is possible at the moment.
I want them to become better leaders and, you know, ultimately better people, and for me, I just want to see more successful young people coming out of this country.
WAS THIS SOMETHING THAT YOU ALWAYS WANTED TO DO? HELP PEOPLE?
Yeah, always, from my childhood, from growing up. You see a lot of very talented people that didn’t quite get an opportunity. And I always thought, if they had gotten an opportunity, how different would their life be?
And to be honest, from where I’m sitting now there’s not actually a limit to where they could have gotten in their careers. So, I always thought if I was ever in a position to help people then I would just do it.
I don’t think that’ll ever change to be honest and I just want to give them the best chance at becoming whatever it is they want to become.
WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO LEAVE THE WORLD BETTER FOR THOSE WHO ARE TO FOLLOW?
We’ve progressed a lot from when I was younger and we took a lot of steps forward. But the way I see it, it is on us now to give them the sort of the knowledge and show them what they can solve as an example of what they can do. I believe the younger generation are very, very smart and they’ll definitely change things that we’ve done, and they’ll make them better.
We need to give them a sort of a template and a guideline, and just get them started early, so they can go and express themselves.
WHAT IS YOUR ADVICE TO ANYONE THAT WANTS TO BECOME AN AGENT OF CHANGE?
The biggest piece of advice I can give is to find something that you’re passionate about, something that holds something special inside your heart and, and once you find that just give it your all, don’t be afraid of what people are going to think if you do certain things. The whole campaign I’ve been doing started with that kind of mentality and an attitude towards itself.
I think I’m proof of that. I want to see people push themselves and be as good as they can be. I want people to realize that anything is possible, no matter where you come from or where you start from. And then it’s definitely possible to make big changes.
WHAT ARE THE CHANGES YOU WOULD LIKE TO SEE HAPPENING IN THE NEXT 10 YEARS?
The reason why I started this is to create a stable platform to give children the opportunity to be great. Hopefully in 10 years it should be taken care of, and kids are getting the opportunities that they deserve, no matter where they come from.
We’ve taken plenty of steps in the right direction, and it’s not to say that everything’s going to be perfect, because it definitely won’t. And like I said, continue creating platforms for kids to go on and do great things.
IF YOU HAD THE CHANCE TO GO BACK A FEW YEARS, WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE YOURSELF?
When I was younger I had a dream already, and it was something I was desperate to achieve. So, I would definitely tell myself to just keep going on what I was doing and always have the belief that things are going to get better and that things are going to change. I was lucky in the fact that football gave me something to work towards every single day. Because if it didn’t, my story would be a lot different than it is today.