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MCC Grad passes on what he has learned, named to 40 under 40 list

Paying it forward is very important to Marco Kpeglo LeRoc. 

When he arrived to the United States from his native country of Togo, Kpeglo LeRoc enrolled at a local college and majored in Accounting. One day, while he was following an instructor out of class to ask a question, she told him she didn’t have time to talk.

“She told me she had to go teach another class at Metropolitan Community College. I found out it was the same exact class but was less expensive,” Kpeglo Leroc said. “I thought ‘I have to go to MCC.’”

LeRoc switched colleges shortly after, enrolling in the MCC Accounting program and earning his associate degree in 2007. 

During this time, Kpeglo LeRoc was struggling financially. He had a large amount of debt and wasn’t sure where to start in healing his financial situation. Luckily, he had people to turn to for help.

“I had a mentor at Merrill Lynch,” he said. “He taught me how to save.”

The knowledge Kpeglo LeRoc gained from his mentors helped him so much, he didn’t want to keep it a secret. It inspired him to write his first book, “Cash In With Your Money,” in 2011. The book passes along the tips and tricks Kpeglo LeRoc was given, such as financial literacy, how to get out of debt and budgeting.

“I didn’t want to keep all the information for myself,” he explained.

Kpeglo LeRoc started speaking to students and other groups of people about his book and his financial knowledge. While speaking to high school and college students, he learned there was a lot they didn’t know about student loans, college debt and how to plan financially for a higher education. It provided him with an idea for his next book, “Screw College Debt.”

“The best way to learn is to teach others,” Kpeglo LeRoc said. “I talked about student debt. I realized that many students didn’t know basic things about it. It prompted me to write my second book focusing on that.”

“Screw College Debt” has a personal tone from Kpeglo LeRoc. There is an entire section where he urges readers to consider community college when looking at higher education.

“I encourage people to go to community college,” he said. “We need to educate students—and parents especially—about community colleges. This is a reality we need to be talking about. You can get a degree, start working, and get experience. I am a big advocate for MCC.”

In recent years, Kpeglo LeRoc has become a financial coach to those who need his help. He said it’s more about holding people accountable and checking in and not about doing work for them.

“I listen and give my opinion,” Kpeglo LeRoc said. “We work on a plan together. We schedule phone calls. We try and untangle the issues they have and try to solve them.”

Kpeglo LeRoc’s third book, “Activate Your Untapped Potential,” touches on problem-solving how people can motivate themselves and achieve goals. 

“The problem is that we forget to lead ourselves sometimes,” he said. “I write about how the ‘why’ is more important than the ‘how.’ If you know the ‘why,’ then the ‘how’ will work itself out.”

Recently, Kpeglo LeRoc was named one of the Midlands Business Journal’s 40 Under 40, which celebrates local professionals. Kpeglo LeRoc said he was honored to be named alongside other influential people in the area.

“I’m very grateful,” he said. “It’s great to get that recognition. It inspires me to do more.”

On top of everything else, Kpeglo LeRoc has more on his plate coming up. He recently founded the nonprofit, the League for African Advancement, to help fund scholarships for African students. He also started the Leadership Africa Summit, a one-day conference that educates, inspires and motivates people of all races about how diversity and working together can be powerful. 

Kpeglo said that he wants to leave a strong, inspiring legacy and others should be thinking the same way.

“You don’t have to be 75 or 85 to talk about your legacy,” he explained. “Every day you wake up is a blessing. What kind of impact do you want to have today?”

To learn more about Kpeglo LeRoc, his books, coaching and more, visit marcoleroc.com. 

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