Marlon Wharton founder of Gentleman of Vision Rites of Passage obtained a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology, as well as, his Certification in Professional Counseling in addition to a Masters in School Counseling and Administration. He’s recognized nationally as a selfless advocate and guide to diminishing crisis and increasing the love, support and stability among young males in a student demographic that has been mostly misunderstood. It is his hope that program graduates will later share the responsibility and shine a light on other young men seeking mentorship-most do. Marlon is measurably changing lives within the community – through G.O.V. and through his work as a licensed high school counselor at Riverview Gardens High School near St. Louis, MO.
The Gentlemen of Vision Rites of Passage, Incorporated, commonly referred to as G.O.V., organization has proven to curtail the dropout rate among “proven-risk” high school males bringing to fruition the vision of founder and CEO Marlon Wharton. G.O.V. is a male mentoring program that has changed the lives of over 500 young men through an innovative model that uses step and intensive mentoring to shape and mold young men into positive, productive professionals. Marlon’s motto for G.O.V. is apt, “Changing the lives of young men, one statistic at a time.” Since the organization’s inception in 2009, GOV members have maintained a 100% graduation rate. In addition to the high academic success rates, the Gentlemen of Vision program competes nationally in Step, and currently holds twelve (12) national titles since the beginning of the organization ten years ago. Capturing the development and positive impact of the program the Channel 9 Network’s documentary “Gentleman of Vision” has traveled and been exclusively screened in Cartagena, Columbia, San Andreas and Kyrgyzstan. The documentary won best documentary feature at Cinema of the Bayou, also won the Midrash Award during the St Louis film festival, become the official selection of AFI documentary films, and also captured the US State department American film show case making GOV an International phenomenon.
He has received numerous awards such as: The North County Initiate for leadership in the North county community, the City of Hazelwood for the spirit of Dr. Martin Luther King, the Pioneer Spirit Award by the Nine Network, and the National Youth Summit and the Ethics project.
He is a proud member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., a loving husband, and a father to three beautiful young ladies.
Director of Programming
Christopher Randall is a St. Louis native and a graduate of Cleveland N.J.R.O.T.C. High School. Despite being raised in a crime and drug plagued neighborhood, and despite the challenges he experienced in his household, Chris graduated from high school in 2002 and left for the Marines. Later Chris would graduate with a BA in Business Administration from Lindenwood University (‘12). Chris is a U.S. Marine combat veteran and served as an infantryman on Active Duty from 2002-2006. During his time on active duty Chris deployed and served on the front lines in the war on terrorism in Ramadi Iraq. Also during his time in the Corps, Chris was a member of Ceremonial Drill Platoon and has a combined total of over 26 years of Military Drill expertise. Chris is a veteran of the St. Louis County Police Department where he served as a Police Officer for over 9 years. Through his service with Gentlemen of Vision he realized his passion was in making communities better. Randall currently serves as the Community Engagement Manager for KSDK 5 On Your Side, the NBC affiliate television station in St. Louis. He is a member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc. and Lonestar Lodge #2, Prince Hall Affiliated Masons of Missouri. Christopher is a devoted and loving father to Chris Jr. And serves as a father figure in the lives of the young men he works with every day. Christopher is dedicated to G.O.V.’s vision and mission of “Changing the lives of young men, one statistic at a time.”
YMOV Program Director
Quintton Williams Sr. was born and raised in St. Louis, MO and is a proud graduate of Riverview Gardens High School. Quintton is currently a Police Officer assigned to the North County Precinct with the St. Louis County Police department. During his first six months as an officer he received the Meritorious Service Medal Award for bravery aiding in saving the life of a citizen. Serving as a high school president of G.O.V., after graduating Quintton saw the lack of mentorship offered to the students at the middle school level and hence the creation of Young Men of Vision. He envisioned starting a program that would teach young men about academic performance, brotherhood, community service, and discipline. Quintton has a driving passion for youth and loves being able to assist young men from the same community where he grew up. He loves his son and spending quality time with his family. Quintton acquired a bachelors degree in Education from Harris Stowe State University and is currently pursuing his Masters. One of his favorite life quotes “What lies behind you and what lies in front of you, pales in comparison o what lies inside of you”-Ralph Wald.
His is a member of Omega Psi Phi fraternity INC.
Born and raised in St. Louis, Steven Smoote is a coach and collegiate member of
Gentlemen of Vision. After graduating from the University of Missouri – St. Louis in the Fall of 2017 with a Bachelor of Arts in Communications, Smoote has made it a priority to follow his passion in podcasting and radio where he uses his skills to promote local talent and entrepreneurs. His mission as a coach with Gentlemen of Vision aligns with the core principles of the organization by ensuring that members are solidifying and actively pursuing their passion as well as ascertaining the necessary tools to be successful upon graduating from the program.
BOV Program Director
Head Coach of B.O.V.
I am a product of the program! I graduated from G.O.V in 2018. During my time, I held titles such as President, Secretary, Captain and won 5x National Championships. I came back to coach because I love the program and there was a lack of guidance at the elementary level. I want to keep the boys on track and want them to experience what the program can do to change your life. I am currently a 7th grade math educator for the Riverview Gardens School District, following my passion to educate!