Epstein book chronicles career of serving at-risk youth

Epstein book chronicles career of serving at-risk youth
September 09 13:27 2020 Print This Article

For decades, Mt. Pleasant resident Mark Epstein has had a passion for education, improving outcomes for at-risk youth, and the sport of basketball. He recently chronicled his experiences in the book: They Call Me Pathfinder; Education, Basketball and Equality. The book, published by Elite Authors, will be released October 20 at Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

Epstein left his native Worcester (pronounced “Wooster”) Massachusetts Christmas Day 1988 and landed in the Charleston area. He never looked back. He went on to serve the youth of Charleston County for three decades and a teacher, guidance counselor, mentor and basketball coach. Ten of Epstein’s former players became NCAA scholarship athletes.

As an 8th-grade student in Worcester during the 1960s, Epstein read the book Black Like Me by white author John Howard Griffin and became enamored with the civil rights movement and the plight of black children in the segregated South. When he arrived in Charleston as an adult, he decided to serve at-risk students and help give them the tools and the confidence they needed to realize their dreams.

Along the way, Epstein struck up friendships with many legends from the world of sports. He got to know NCAA championship basketball coaches John Wooden (UCLA), Jim Calhoun (Connecticut) and John Calipari (Kentucky), NFL Hall of Famers Jim Brown, Ronnie Lott, and Marcus Allen, basketball greats David Robinson, Julius (Dr. J) Erving, and Charleston’s Katrina McClain, and many others. As a volunteer at the 1995 New England Golf Classic, Epstein walked 18 holes with Masters champ John Daly and future President Donald Trump. In his book, Epstein weaves in stories about his dealings with sports legends, along with success stories of Lowcountry children who overcome their obstacles in life.

Upon his retirement from Charleston County School District in 2015, Epstein has worked on legislative issues with State Representative Wendell Gilliard to improve outcomes for at-risk students. Among the issues he continues to work on is not allowing students under the age of 18 to drop out of school. He wants all of the Charleston County high school graduates to be prepared for successful careers and knows that the objective will involve the commitment of leaders across the community.

They Call Me Pathfinder reveals Epstein’s passion for improving the lives of at-risk students, his love for the sport of basketball, and his lifetime of amazing experiences. Epstein plans to do an October 17 book-signing at his Mt. Pleasant home and a later event at Barnes & Noble. The book, which is priced at $13.99, may be pre-ordered by contacting Epstein at MePathfinder1@gmail.com.