However you found yourself on my page, I truly thank you for taking the time to explore with me and learn more about Project 43324.
My name is Mark Guido and I’m 26 years old. I’m from the greater Chicago area, where steel mountains reign supreme and snowy peaks are left to my imagination.
I’m currently waiting tables for a living, an industry that attracts some of the most dynamic individuals because it gives you the flexibility to cultivate your passions. It helps give you the extra time to find out who you are and the support to become who you were always meant to be!
It was only recently (2017) that I discovered my love and addiction for summiting the world’s highest peaks. To nobody’s surprise, there aren’t many mountains in Illinois. The highest natural point is a whopping 376 meter (1,235 foot) high hill in northern Jo Daviess County, so you can understand my rather late interest. Even so, I’ve always had the spirit of adventure. I’ve completed several long-distance treks in the past; journeys that have taken me to some of the far-flung reaches of the world. The circumnavigation of a mountain as opposed to the climbing of one, to reach its summit. Eventually, I wanted to go higher, and really push my limits. This would ultimately lead to my first high-altitude mountaineering experience in Africa where I summited Mount Kilimanjaro. I never quite considered myself an athlete as a kid, so when I reached the top of Africa, I fell in love with the challenge!
For some people, the thrill of the climb is the sole motivator, but I’m one of those people that needs to take in the scenery and enjoy the moment. On my various climbs, I’ve realized that the children of the areas I’ve visited did not have the resources for a decent education. I’m the son of a teacher, so I’m instantly aware that if something could be done for these kids, it should be done. 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. Before each climb, I have the children sign a special flag unique to each location that will accompany me to the summit. This is what keeps me motivated. I’m no longer climbing for myself, I’m climbing with and for all these kids to show them that anything is possible.
Next June, I depart for the Kahiltna Glacier in Alaska to climb Denali, the highest mountain in North America. I’m dedicating this climb to my home state, by supporting SOS Children’s Villages Illinois and local youth in the Auburn Gresham neighborhood in Chicago.
I welcome you to follow me and my mission and hope you will consider supporting these local groups that help children every day!
See you at the top!