It’s hard to not be instantly charmed by Marissa Hirschman ’17—her inviting smile allows a glance into her gracious heart, and her wit a peek into her intelligence. Hirschman, a freshman at Central and a native of Fort Madison, has always had the innate desire to help others, which isn’t hard to imagine given her friendly attitude.
She believes her ticket to dedicating her time to others might just be through her academic interests. “I am majoring in Spanish and psychology,” Hirschman says. “I thought about going into criminal psychology, counseling or social work. I just want to help people.”
Her willingness to help people might stem from support her family provides—born without eyes, Hirschman has been receiving support from not only her family, but her hometown Lions International Club.
“As I’ve met students who didn’t have the support system I’ve had, I’ve really realized how lucky and grateful I am that I have such a strong support system.”
That support followed her to college, where Central provides Hirschman the opportunity to explore her career options by volunteering her time and serving on various committees, like the Lost Potential Project, a social justice project focused on improving the lack of education for women in the Middle East. She also volunteers time at the Young Women’s Resource Center through Central’s service-learning program.
While not volunteering her time, Hirschman is studying hard. Her professors email her documents ahead of time that she can read with an accessible laptop with a screen reader. After her time at Central, she plans to attend graduate school that will lead her to a successful career. However, she has aspirations that extend much further than her professional life. “I want to travel and go to Europe,” she says with a smile. “I have always wanted to go to Africa for a year and work in the Peace Corps, too. And attend as many concerts as I can!”
Her bucket list is ambitious, but if she dives right in like she has at Central, there is no doubt she’ll have those dreams checked off in no time.