Senior linebacker Q’marr Allen is using his voice to create change at Los Angeles High School. Not only is Allen a captain of the football team, but he is a leader in different ways on campus.
“I’m well-known around here,” Allen said. “I’m all about academics, so my grades are good.”
Allen aspires to get both an athletic and academic scholarship, using football as a vehicle to access a free education. Along with playing football, Allen is involved in three different student organizations. One of the organizations is called Students Deserve, a coalition of students, teachers, and parents who fight against human injustices.
Students Deserve recently fought against random searches in the Los Angeles Unified School District. This allows school administrators can randomly search a student’s backpack during school hours.
Allen said a speech to a panel of teachers about how the practice was dehumanizing and how the searches disrupt class time.
“[There were] 300 teachers there,” Allen said, “I practiced all night on what I want to say, practiced all the questions.”
Since his speech, teachers approached Allen to speak about the Students Deserve group at their respective schools. Allen is also involved in the Black Student Union and Leadership on his campus. He was even on the panel to interview and choose their new principal.
“I have things on my record, my transcripts and so I look good in college, do good in college, be successful,” Allen said.
On Tuesdays and Thursdays, Allen gives sports reports via P.A. system; one of many duties he has being the school’s sports commissioner. He also stays in touch with different coaches and put up posters for sporting events.
After three games, Allen is averaging 6.8 yards per carry as a running back. He has a season-high of 104 rushing yards in the Los Angeles Romans’ game against the Hawkins Hawks. On defense, he makes 10.3 tackles per game and has 21 solo tackles this season.
The Romans are young, but they are cultivating a family bond. Being one of seven brothers, Allen appreciates a sense of brotherhood among his teammates.
“We ask each other if they need help with their homework, we work together [to make] sure everybody gets their work done,” he said. “Before and after practice, we pray. We’re on a family-type scale.”
Allen aspires to be a pediatrician when he grows up. Becoming involved in school keeps him focused on his goal. The elders in his life taught him the importance of leading by example.
“As a leader, you can’t just tell people what to do and just sit back and lay back,” he said. “I’m on the field with you, we’re working together to do this, we’ve gonna get through this together.”
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