LU’s Jamarcus Corks: Making the best of out of life no matter the circumstances

Published 9:49 am Sunday, February 19, 2017

Special to The Leader

Orange native Jamarcus Corks knows how to deal with life through the good and the bad. The Lamar University senior broadcast communications major not only knows how to communicate effectively but he also knows how to turn his words into actions.

One of the biggest trials Corks has faced and overcome was growing up with a disability, and coming from an adoptive family. Corks has cerebral palsy, but he has learned never to let life hindered his success. “I learned to never give up and keep going no matter what may come your way.”

Corks overcame adversity in his younger years.  “I was adopted at a young age. I had to come to terms of being adopted, figuring out who I was and where I came from, and why things happen the way they did. Instead of dwelling in the past, I learned that life isn’t always fair. You have to deal with the cards that you are dealt, and you can make the best out of any situation if you just keep a positive mindset.”

“Growing up with a disability has been one of the hardest things of my life, due to all of the hardships that I have had to overcome,” he said. “The countless surgeries, rehabilitation and therapy sessions — that really took a toll on me. Being able to go through all of that and still rise up with a smile on my face every day says a lot. My strength and support came from my mother, Willie Mae Corks. She was my biggest cheerleader. She kept me going when I wanted to quit. She told me that something special was coming even when it couldn’t see it myself.”

When it came to choosing a college to attend, his decision came down to McNeese or LU. “The final choice was determined by my mother. She said ‘Well if you go to Lamar I can find you in a hurry if something happens. If you go to McNeese I won’t be able to find you as quickly.’ So mother knows best,” Corks said.

He’s glad he made that choice. “I love how accessible Lamar is for students like me who have disabilities. I really enjoy the atmosphere, the class sizes are not too big which makes it easier for me to focus and make good grades. I also enjoy the friendly people here, I remember a few times when I got stuck in a ditch in front of the dining hall and random people ran up to help me, and I just found that to be one of the fine things about Lamar.”

Outside of his academic pursuits, Corks is heavily involved with Lamar University Athletics. He is the equipment manager for the football and baseball team, a job he’d like to continue after graduation. He is also a member of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes.

Corks gives credits assistant baseball coach Scott Hatten with helping him stay motivated.  “I look up to him,” he said. “Scott has such drive and enthusiasm about baseball. He has such a get up and go attitude. I really want to be like him when I’m older, not letting age or circumstances hinder him in life.  He also likes to hunt and fish just like I do.”