Amazing Pro-Life Student Gets $4,040 from 40 Days for Life

Brenna Lewis - 03 Feb 2020

At this year’s Walk for Life in San Francisco, pro-life student leader John Mark Porter was awarded the 4040 Scholarship from 40 Days for Life!

40 Days for Life posted:

John Mark is a 40 Days for Life participant, sidewalk counselor, and pregnancy help center volunteer. He launched a campus initiative to support student parents, organized debates with pro-abortion student organizations, spoke before his state legislators, and participated in many other pro-life projects.

Photo credit: 40 Days for Life

John Mark is a rockstar pro-life student leader. He credits his growth in leadership to the support he has found from pro-life mentors. And, as mentioned by 40 Days for Life, he has spearheaded tons of pro-life activities on campus.

Now What? 

We asked John Mark what his plans were for his $4,040 scholarship… and we loved his answers! John Mark said:

  • “I will be using the scholarship for the Students for Life group on campus and perhaps towards the formation of a Pro-Life Future group for our local young adults (I’m a senior now, so that’s sort of what’s on my agenda going forward).
  • Right now, the plan is to create a small endowment that will be invested and will feed returns to the organization.
  • And yes, we’d be using most of the funds that come from the endowment towards our group’s Pregnant on Campus Initiative. Right now, our babysitting program, modeled after that of Notre Dame’s, is just taking off and we have to run background checks on babysitting students and pay for basic supplies in order to pull that off.

  • The other expense would be for our Faculty Support Program (we take SFLA’s “I Support Pregnant and Parenting Students” stickers and ask faculty to put them on their doors/computers/mugs. We also give faculty members gift bags to give to pregnant or parenting students who come to them and give them on-boarding questionnaires that they can then fill out and give to A Moment of Hope – the local sidewalk counseling ministry that helps moms with pregnancy care teams). We’ve been REALLY excited by the faculty program and its potential and if I had one thing to share with other student orgs it would probably be that. 

So… yes. John Mark is the PERFECT recipient of some extra cash to fund his many amazing ideas. The fact that he went to school for accounting was just an added bonus!

Other Cool Things John Mark Does

  • I spend a lot of time brainstorming new ideas for pro-life advocacy. My scholarship application stood out because of an idea I had to beam WiFi into the local Planned Parenthood and when a person tries to log in to the network, they’d see a phone helpline and lead to the sidewalk counseling org’s website. We’re developing it further now so that it can offer comprehensive and interactive support, but for now that’s all it is.
  • We hold debates with College Democrats. As part of SFLA’s initiative, we’ve also shown the movies “Unplanned” and “October Baby” on campus. We launched an initiative on campus to wear pro-life shirts every Thursday and we hold social events like shag dancing, going to the fair or zoo, or whatever else we’d like to do while wearing the shirts (it helps make just normal events suddenly “group events”). It’s been a great way to draw in fringe members.
  • We helped launch a sister student group at another local Christian college (Advocates for Life of Columbia International University – they’re doing really great!). I’m working with my SFLA Regional Coordinator, Brooke, to try to reach the homeschooling community and equip high schoolers for pro-life advocacy. 
  • I’m also working with the president of the CIU group to get a mission launched out in Uganda with the Africa Life Youth Foundation to help train and equip pro-life students in that country in student activism (it’s also the focus of my thesis project). 
  • I launched our group’s website, Facebook page, and Twitter account last year after Students for Life’s Paid Family Leave lobbying effort in DC (with Students for Life of America) inspired me to do more, so that was a real pivotal part of my activism.

Congrats, John Mark! We cannot wait to see the amazing things that come of this generous scholarship.

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