Born in Chicago, Illinois, Marlene Snipes
is the sixth child of a single mom. She grew up in a neighborhood of gangs, drugs and alcoholism but her mother's words of wisdom served as her guide throughout the years. As an encouragement to Marlene, her mom always reminded her that whatever is going on in the world shouldn't impact her so much that she can't go forward and move on. That's why Marlene compares herself to the Energizer Bunny; she just keeps on going.
She currently works as a service attendant at Amtrak and spends a lot of time at the church in her hometown, where she gives motivational speeches and teaches aerobics. She uses her enthusiasm to motivate the people around her. Marlene also says she is dedicated in being excited about life.
Marlene Snipes enjoys eating peach cobblers and double chocolate chunk ice cream, with double chocolate chunk cookies. She makes it a point to spend her weekends with friends and families. She also indulges her nieces and nephews every time she takes them out. For the last three years, she's been spending her birthday by hosting a breakfast for her family and giving them gifts.
Her unforgettable giving back moment was when she reached out to a local Chicago family whose home burnt down. She donated coats, boots, groceries and a TV. She was touched to find that the family appreciated being cared about by someone they didn't even know.
Marlene Snipes is one of the 10 contestants on ABC's reality game show Oprah's Big Give
, where each contestant is given a large sum of money as they compete in finding “the most powerful, sensational, emotional and dramatic ways to give to others.” Marlene joined the show because she wants to encourage and inspire people to help someone else.
(Photo courtesy of ABC)