Jackson College allowed Mara Wierzbicki a winning start on her education. Playing volleyball as a student-athlete, participating in a local history project with Writing Fellows, and providing flexibility to explore her future, Jackson College helped her reach her goals!
Volleyball brought Wierzbicki to Jackson Community College from 2009-11, but the opportunities available to her made her experience complete. A graduate of Jackson High, she enjoyed the opportunity to continue to play sports in college, though she admits the path of a student-athlete was busy between practice, games and academics. But it also created some of her favorite memories of her days at Jackson College, even long van rides with the team to faraway games or group study sessions to keep up the classwork. “You really have to find what works for you and to find that balance. Learning that skill brought me beyond just what the volleyball did on its own,” she said.
Wierzbicki served as a Writing Fellow and had the opportunity, with Professor Diana Agy, to work on a Cascades Museum history project. That was memorable because her grandmother was involved as well. After Jackson College, Wierzbicki went to Columbia College in Chicago and completed her bachelor’s degree in marketing communications and public relations. Her first job after college was the Ella Sharp Museum of Jackson.
After a couple of years at Ella Sharp, Wierzbicki decided to pursue another path and decided to pursue her master’s degree in education at the University of Michigan. She came back to Jackson College in 2015 to take a couple of education classes before continuing. Today, she teaches second grade at Northwest Early Elementary.
“Jackson College launched the journey that I’m on now,” she said. “It allows you so many things and so many experiences.”