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Guidance clerk at Portsmouth middle school receives ‘People Taking Action’ Award

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Portsmouth, Va. - Watching Marcus Baker lead an after-school program at Cradock Middle School, it's easy to see that he's passionate about working with kids.

"Me growing up in Portsmouth, I know there's a lot of broken families and a lot of problems with young men, a lot of that is kids coming up the wrong way," said Baker.

That's why, as a guidance clerk at the school, he recently started a new program called 'MANUP.'

"We focus on leadership development.  We try to coach the boys into being good leaders in the community so they can set positive examples," Baker told News 3.

Because of the work he's doing, he was nominated for a 'People Taking Action' award.

We stopped by one of his group's after-school meetings to surprise him with the award, along with a $300 Visa gift card courtesy of Southern Bank.

"It really touches my heart because this is my life's work," Baker said after receiving the award.

Baker says this is just the start of his program.  He wants to see it continue to grow and hopes to get even more students involved.