August 11, 2017 10:07 am

Michael Schwartz may be a familiar face to some, with his graduation photo appearing around town on Pierce College billboards, social media pages and more. But many more people surely know him as the friendly face from the Puyallup Student Life office who helped them find their way to class or around campus.

Prior to his time at Pierce College, Michael spent years working what he calls dead-end jobs before making the decision to go back to school.

Although he admits he was never the most motivated student in high school, it was his experience at Pierce College that truly inspired him to do better. He worked in the front desk of the Student Life Office before becoming an official Student Leader, and credits this experience for much of his success today.

“Being involved in Student Life at Pierce really helped me get back to figuring out what I wanted to do in my life,” Michael said. “My boss at the college always asked me how I was doing in my classes, and pushed me to do well and keep my grades up. I loved being involved in Student Life. I had always put in the bare minimum effort in school before coming to Pierce, but I learned the value of hard work while I was there. I’m working on my bachelor’s degree now, and I’m even on track for the honor roll.”

Michael learned many skills as a student leader, including time management and the importance of knowing when to ask for help. “So many professors at Pierce understand that students have busy lives and a lot to deal with,” he said. “And it’s important to know that they’ll work with you, especially if they see you’re trying to do well.”

Michael earned his AA-DTA from Pierce College in 2015, and is currently studying at Central Washington University, taking classes at their location on the Pierce College Fort Steilacoom campus. He is pursuing a Bachelor of Arts in Education with a minor in literacy, but he has no plans to stop there. The aspiring teacher’s ultimate goal is to continue his education to earn a Ph.D. Although he would love to teach a variety of grade levels, he is considering the possibility of coming back one day to teach in the community college setting. “I’m such a big believer in everything that happens here at Pierce,” Michael said. “My own experiences here have been so positive that it’s been an honor to be part of the college.”