As a fifth grade teacher, Marc Beller knows all about molding young minds. But the molding doesn't end in the classroom, this Lindsay, Nebraska native relishes the opportunity to continue the learning process in the friendly confines of the Columbus YMCA...
Over the past quarter century, Marc has shared his love of *non-contact" taekwondo with more than 2,000 kids and he's trained 216 of them to the black belt level.
Marc says, "I don't know, it just got in my blood and I can't get rid of it, it's like an addiction I guess, you just want to change that child, you want to make them better, like this is your own little project."
Eight-year-old Morgan Meridith says Beller has made her a better person, "He taught me how to respect people."
Morgan's Mom Kelly says that Beller not only talks the talk. he walks the walk, "I think that he leads the life that he teaches the kids to lead here in class. I think that's important for kids to have an adult that follows those same rules."
Beller says there's a lot to be learned from taekwondo and one of the most important things is learning how to overcome life's obstacles, "The mind is a powerful weapon so if you have that desire and motivation then go for it because life it too short."
Jonathan Niles of the Columbus YMCA says he admires Beller...the teacher...and the man, "He just does a fantastic job with the kids, the families, he truly cares and he's just awesome at what he does."
Marc concludes, "The journeys been good. I've loved every minute of it. There's things where it doesn't always go your way and kids kind of want to do their way but that's the challenges that I like. I like that challenge, I like to change that child that's a little bit hard and say you know what, this is the right way to do it, let's work on it this way."
Marc's life lessons don't end when his students leave the YMCA. He likes to get the kids involved in a fundraiser that helps raise money for the Center for Survivors in Columbus.