When graduating senior Marquette Venson crossed the stage during the Kentucky State University Spring 2018 Commencement Convocation, he marked the end of his undergraduate academic career.

But leading up to that, he crisscrossed the streets of Frankfort, marking cars as a citation officer for the Frankfort Police Department, signaling the beginning of a career in criminal justice.

Though he’s only been in the job since February, he handles the department’s Segway with ease around the city. He’s enjoyed working with the people of Frankfort and said luckily no one has been rude to him for issuing a citation.

“I haven’t had any bad experiences yet,” Venson said. “It’s been pretty fun.”

Venson, from West Englewood in Chicago, also completed an internship with the police department, working with and meeting officers and Frankfort Police Department Chief of Police Travis Ellis.

Venson said he began his internship in the evidence room, entering evidence and updating the system. He also went on ride-alongs with officers, seeing unique parts of Frankfort and its residents along the way.

Finally, he said, he worked with a detective over the special victims unit for children.

“My passion is juvenile justice,” Venson said. “I love to work with kids, but I also love to tackle the problems and issues that people seem to ignore about our youth.”

Venson dreams of being a juvenile case worker or program director, he said. To do so, he must go to graduate school, which he plans to attend in the spring of 2019.

After graduation, Venson said he plans to go home to Chicago for a year and save as much money as he can. This semester has been financially trying, he said, and he wants to get back on his feet. From there, it’s off to Arizona to hone in on his career dreams.

Venson said it took him six years to graduate and, as a result, he has advice for Thorobreds not yet ready to graduate.

“Don’t waste your time or money goofing off when you could excel so much quicker in your career just by doing what’s asked of you,” he said.

Venson said he didn’t find success by himself.

“Dr. Walter Malone has been like a big brother to me that I never had,” Venson said. He never lets me live below the standard of Alpha (Phi Alpha) and that bar is always set high.”

“I met Mr. Venson in 2015, and since then have been proud to watch him learn, grow, and make strides towards being his best,” Malone, academic advisor and success coach at Kentucky State, said. “Marquette is the type of young man who makes a difference in the lives of those around him. It is my personal goal to add lasting value to the lives of our students. It is my hope that I have done that for Marquette, and I anticipate much success as he moves onward and upward!”

“He always wants to push me forward and push me to be the best that I can be,” Venson said. “I think it’s always good to have someone in your corner and that can always push you forward. Dr. Malone is that guy.”

Venson also said he couldn’t have done it without Kentucky State University President M. Christopher Brown II, whom Venson affectionately calls Brother President, as they are both members of Alpha Phi Alpha.

For Venson, graduation marked the end of his time at Kentucky State, Frankfort and the Commonwealth of Kentucky. He has a ticket to a bright future of promoting justice wherever he may land.