From the brick streets of Oxford to the windy streets of Chicago, Marissa Hirsh – a 2008 graduate of Miami University and the University Honors Program – has been busy putting what she learned and experienced in Miami to good use.
In her current role, Marissa works for a non-profit organization called America Scores Chicago. This organization offers after-school programming for K-8 students, particularly in districts that have few resources or have under-served communities. Focused on soccer, poetry, and service learning, America Scores Chicago emphasizes the importance of learning how being a “team player” occurs on and off of the field, in and out of the classroom. Encouraging students to learn what it means to have a healthy mind and a healthy body, Marissa’s position allows her to plan and coordinate programs, while also working closely with the students themselves through the curricula she teaches in these programs. Marissa began working with America Scores Chicago after she graduated from Miami, and, after one year in a temporary role, she was brought on permanently.
The foundations for her success in this role stem from Marissa’s personal commitment to service, and her evolving interests in education throughout her education at Miami. As an undergraduate student, Marissa was involved with community-service oriented programs that focused on under-served communities around Oxford. She also knew she wanted to be involved in education, and selected the early childhood education track for a major.
As her college career progressed, however, she struggled to reconcile her interests in education and her growing certainty that she did not want to become an elementary school teacher. Marissa reflects that when she finally came to be “at peace” with not becoming a teacher after college, she began focusing on what she enjoyed about her studies. She cites this, along with the reflection and self-examination during the process of writing her thesis, as significant steps in figuring out her path for after her post-graduate career.
These days, Marissa can be found interacting with her students, planning programs, and working on determining her next educational steps. Confident she’d like to continue her lifelong learning process, Marissa is exploring graduate programs in hopes of finding one that fits her goals and passions.