Gaudencio Marquez was born and raised in the migrant community of the Coachella Valley. As the first in his family to attend college, he began his academic career at the University of California, Irvine. He later transferred to California State University, San Bernardino, where he obtained his Bachelor of Arts degree in sociology with an emphasis in social work. He continued his passion for social work by furthering his education at California State University Long Beach with a master’s degree in the same field. His master’s in social work emphasized clinical experience and research with children, youth and families; culminating in a thesis on the topic of LGBTQ youth.
While originally interested in becoming a teacher, Gaudencio found social work in a school setting to be a compatible partnership between holistic learning and his philosophy of education. His school social work career began as a Pupil Services and Attendance Counselor at Crenshaw High School where he successfully provided effective leadership that led to a higher attendance rate across grade levels. Eventually, he took his skills gleaned from his experiences as a counselor and transitioned into the non-profit sector by working for Communities In Schools (CIS) as a Site Coordinator at John Liechty Middle School. In this capacity, Gaudencio worked with approximately 100 students in a case managed capacity along with implementing whole school programs addressing school wide needs.
Gaudencio is currently serving as a Program Director for CISLA. In this role he oversees eleven school programs and supports site teams to ensure the effective and full implementation of the CIS model. Communities In Schools is the vehicle in which Gaudencio is able exercise his passion by supporting students and communities that have been historically disenfranchised and helping them reach their full potential.