The Fighter star, who endured a tough childhood before finding fame in 1990s rap group Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch, has been working on giving inner city kids a creative place to escape to and he reveals construction recently began at a youth club in Boston.
He tells WENN, “As far as my past, there’s nothing that I can do to change that. I’ve been fortunate enough that I can apply a lot of those real life experiences to what I’m doing now, into my work both in front of the camera and with kids that are growing up in similar situations.
“We do a lot of inner city stuff working with at risk youth and inner city kids. The Mark Wahlberg Youth Foundation just partnered up for the second year with the Taco Bell Foundation and Graduate To Go Studios. We had this idea to build a recording studio, a film, television and animation studio in every boys club across the country. We’ve already opened one in California and just did the groundbreaking in Boston in my home club.
“It’s not only giving kids a place to go and learn about making film and television and music but there’s also mentors there that are getting involved in every other aspect of their life and they’re learning stuff that can give them a real career in this business, because there’s not a lot of opportunity there for them.”
Wahlberg admits he has a lot to be thankful for after turning his life around following a string of arrests and drug problems in his youth and the star, who is now a married father of four, is determined not to mess up his “second chance”.
He says, “I’m so appreciative of all the things that I’ve been able to do and the things that I’ve been able to overcome. Given a second chance in this life is not something that comes easy so I don’t want to do anything to mess it up. People are like, ‘Just go out for one night.’ For what? I got everything I want and I’m so blessed and so fortunate and start every morning on my knees for being grateful and working to do the right thing.
“If all went away today I’d be happy for the things that I was able to experience and the things that I learned along the way.”