Major: Graphic Design
As a Graphic Design student at College of DuPage, Mark Guido learned that every design should have a purpose and be intentional.
He carried that message with him while designing the logo for a nonprofit he created years later, Peaks for Purpose, through which Guido combines his love for graphic design—which blossomed at COD—and his love for adventure.
“Being a graphic design student really helped with various logo designs and the layout of my website,” Guido said. “At COD, I learned that everything you design should have a story behind it. The vibrant colors of the logo I designed represent diversity, which embodies what Peaks for Purpose is all about.”
Guido calls himself a regular guy with an irregular dream. He has an ambitious goal of joining the Seven Summits Club, a select group of roughly 400 people worldwide who have climbed the highest mountain peaks on every continent.
“I’m allowing my adventurous spirit to play out,” he said. “Three years ago, I traveled to Africa and decided to climb the highest mountain on the continent. This was my first high altitude mountaineering experience and I fell in love with the challenge. From then on, I have fully committed to pushing my physical and mental limits in some of the most dangerous environments.”
In the midst of Guido’s climbing adventures, he launched Peaks for Purpose, a project linking his ambitious climbing goals to building a better future for children in need worldwide. Each of Guido’s expeditions is dedicated to organizations that support local children in the area he is climbing.
To date, Guido has successfully climbed three summits in Africa, South America and Europe and has helped raise more than $10,000 for youth development around the world.
“I’ve realized that the children of the areas I’ve visited did not have the resources for a decent education,” he said. “I’m the son of a teacher, so I was instantly aware that if something could be done for these kids, it was my responsibility. I was quick to partner with different groups that support the local children and, in doing so, my project has helped the lives of many.”
Step outside of your comfort zone. Create meaningful experiences by helping others who need it most.
Before each climb, Guido has local children sign a special flag unique to each location that he carries with him to the summit.
“That is what keeps me motivated,” he said. “I’m no longer climbing for myself. I’m climbing with and for all these kids to show them that anything is possible.”
In light of COVID-19, Guido’s plan to climb Denali, the highest mountain peak in North America, was canceled. But he used his time fundraising for children in vulnerable areas.
“The pandemic was putting extreme stress on already vulnerable children,” he said. “Families needed masks, hand sanitizers and disinfectants, as well as the tools and resources for maintaining their children's education and emotional health. Through fundraising, we were able to make an immediate difference by providing technology, life-saving sanitation, hygiene supplies, and both online and offline educational resources.”
In April 2022, Guido attempted to climb Mount Everest via the South Col route to raise money for children in a village in Nepal. Unfortunately, ill health cut his climb short, but he does hope to return for a second attempt. His next climb will be Manaslu, the eight-highest mountain the world, and he plans to do it without supplemental oxygen.
"For some, the thrill of the climb would be motivation enough, but when I stand on top of a mountain, it’s not about me,” he said. “My climbs invest in children’s futures and that’s what keep me motivated.”
Guido said he graduated from COD with a wealth of knowledge and wisdom that he hopes other COD students carry with them.
“Don’t feel boxed into one area of study,” he said. “Step outside of your comfort zone. Create meaningful experiences by helping others who need it most.”
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