Honouring ‘a giant’ for his commitment to youth
Joining the packed celebration of the life of Marco Warren were colleagues from the Department of Youth, Sport and Recreation dressed in shirts bearing designs created by the 29-year-old graphic artist and athlete.
Nadine Henry, senior youth services and development officer, told the ceremony that Mr Warren, employee number 1011705, had “raised the bar and is currently unmatched” as a mentor, programme manager and role model to young men.
“We came here today to honour a giant,” she added.
Mr Warren’s easy rapport with youngsters and leadership in the department was matched by his skill in designing advertising and logos.
His flair for design included branding for the National Youth Policy and the National Junior Athlete Sponsorship Programme.
Ms Henry described his “captivating” line of questioning during meetings and the research he poured into programme development, along with his hallmark respectful demeanour.
Starting in 2008 as a summer day camp volunteer, the footballer rose to counsellor in 2010.
He began working on island camps in 2013, where fellow staff told of his “perfect attitude and ideal work ethic”, Ms Henry said.
Determined to foster healthy competition and have a positive impact on youngsters, Mr Warren “understood the power of sports”.
Supervisors said that he engaged enthusiastically with campers, motivating them and bringing out their best.
He joined the after-school team at Paget Primary School in 2017, with “the ability to bring calm to a very busy group of boys”.
“Marco exercised youth, giving the opportunity to explore, be themselves, make mistakes and try again.”
He shifted roles to become a senior programme worker in 2021, working out of the island’s three community centres.
Mr Warren handled the after-school programme at the Eastern Zone centre and was invited to join the Western Zone as a community worker.
“Last summer, Marco was key in the development of a signature programme called Game Changers, where he assisted middle schoolers to find their voice, understand their purpose and to recognise that they have a civic duty.”
Ms Henry added that a colleague said “the rapport Marco had with the middle schoolers, and the bond that he took time to nurture, has left an indelible impression on young lives”.
Last September, Mr Warren threw himself into a new job as an after-school programme supervisor.
Ms Henry said he was determined to boost enrolment levels, and within two months reported a 38 per cent increase.
“With this, Marco caught the attention of the Sammy Wilson Central Zone Community Centre,” she said.
This year, he joined a “fundamentals-in-football programme called Little Kickers for private nurseries and preschool in the city”.
Ms Henry said that staff would miss “the ecstatic dad and caring father” who shared updates on his baby son’s weight.
“We will miss the bustling with excitement to plan a surprise for Kalay.
“We will miss tales of late-night fishing expeditions. We will miss the competitiveness as it got others going.
“We will miss the very essence of Marco.”