March 9, 2012
Marie-Jeffries-blog

Marie Jeffries Earns Place on All-Colorado Academic Team

Service to others is a big part of Marie Jeffries’ experience. She has served children and adults in India, teens in trouble in Brighton, and fellow students at Front Range Community College-Boulder County Campus in Longmont.

Service, Leadership and Academics Important.

Her service and academic record at Front Range make Marie a member of the All-Colorado Academic Team. She was nominated based on her academic achievement, leadership, and community service. As part of the state team, she also was nominated for membership consideration on the All-USA Academic Team for Community Colleges. The All-USA Academic Team competition is sponsored by Phi Theta Kappa (PTK), USA Today, and the American Association of Community Colleges. PTK is the international honor society for community colleges.

International Travel and Teaching in India.

Marie’s years as a home-school student allowed her opportunities to travel to more than 15 countries and spend a semester in India, where she taught English and music to 400 children and 300 adults.

“Living in India was life-changing,” Marie says. “I witnessed poverty that breaks your heart and experienced sexism that drains your spirits. I learned to speak enough Malayalam that I could teach class without a translator, and adjusted to living with unreliable access to running water.”

Her volunteer service in India continued upon her return to Colorado.

Volunteer in Teen Court.

Marie was an experienced competitor in debate during her home-school years, which was good preparation for Teen Court. Teen Court uses rehabilitative justice for first-time teen offenders who have been found guilty in a standard judicial procedure and then are referred to Teen Court. In Teen Court, teen-age volunteers act as prosecutors, defense attorneys, and members of the jury. The Teen Court process determines the sentence of the defendant, not the defendant’s guilt. Sentences can include community service, essays or written apologies, satisfactory school attendance, restitution, or attendance at workshops appropriate to their behavior.

She volunteered for three years for Teen Court in Brighton. Marie estimates she participated as a prosecutor or defense attorney about 25 times. She also served on juries many times.

Kindling a Spirit of Giving as Phi Theta Kappa President.

Marie enrolled at FRCC in 2009. She is on track to graduate in May.

Her academic skills and volunteer experience earned her membership in PTK. Among other qualifications, members must have completed at least 12 hours of coursework that may be applied to an associate degree and have a grade point average of 3.5.

Because of her service and commitment to PTK, she was elected chapter president. As president, Marie organized the annual Adopt-a-Family project last fall to provide holiday gifts to children of single parents.

“Not only have I been able to serve my campus community, but I also have enabled other people to serve as well,” Marie says. “Adopt-a-Family impacts not only the families that receive gifts but also the community members who donate the gifts. I learned to motivate and direct volunteers to cooperate toward a goal that benefits our community. I am, in turn, inspired by the efforts of my fellow volunteers. Together we gave 12 children 60 gifts they otherwise would not have received. I hope our joy in serving them will kindle a spirit of giving in their own hearts.”

Transferring to the University of Colorado.

Marie plans to transfer her Associate of Arts degree to the University of Colorado-Boulder. She is undecided on a major.

About the author:

John Feeley is director of public relations at Front Range Community College. He’s a retired soccer referee and newspaper editor whose subscription ran out.

Comments:

March 29, 2012 Teen Bullying Speaker

Marie! What an inspiration. I work with teens full time and will pass on her story to motivate the teens I speak to to live a GREAT life like this young woman.