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Jesse Judge ’17 took on a special role this fall, jumping at the opportunity to serve as a college adviser at Morley Stanwood High School in Morley, Michigan. The position comes through Advise MI and the Michigan College Access Network (MCAN). To Jesse, this role is an opportunity to help other students earn a transformative college education, just as he did.

At the heart of the MCAN mission is the notion that college is for everyone, in addition to acknowledgement that college changes the life course of students. The organization oversees a strategic plan that works to ensure that each and every student across Michigan has access to the knowledge, tools and support to make college a reality.

The goal of the Advise MI program is to increase the number of high school students who enter and complete postsecondary education. The advisers are recent college graduates from partner colleges, and assist students in navigating the complex college exploration process, retaking college admissions tests, applying to colleges that are a good match/fit, completing the FAFSA, securing financial aid and matriculating to college.

“My role as college adviser was very busy as the school year began. It’s been composed of reaching out to numerous educational institutions and connecting with various people to help give students the best options possible for their future. Aside from reaching out to contacts, I have three separate initiative programs in place to help promote a college culture,” Jesse explained. “My overall goal is to reach out to every student here and help them achieve some sort of postsecondary education, whether that be a trade school or a four-year degree. I want our students to be prepared for the ever more demanding job market.”

To Do Good to Others

For Jesse, the drive to serve in this capacity stems from his positive experience at Olivet College. Attending Central Montcalm High School himself, Jesse enjoyed small class sizes, close relationships with his friends and teachers, and was a member of the football and wrestling teams. Jesse experienced success as a high school athlete, serving as the driving force to attend college and take his skills to the next competitive level. Unfortunately, due to the size of his high school, colleges and universities didn’t pay much attention to its athletes, and the resources to obtain a college degree were not plentiful.

Jesse knew college was part of his future, but the options often seemed overwhelming or confusing. This all changed with a simple message from one person – Olivet College head wrestling coach Brandon Brissette. This message changed Jesse’s outlook on higher education, he now saw an obtainable path to college with promising opportunities as both a Comet student-athlete and future professional. More importantly, Jesse was welcomed into a support system comprised of OC’s outstanding admissions team, expert financial aid staff, and future professors and coaches, all giving him the encouragement to take the next step with confidence.

Now, Jesse hopes to be that one person who changes a high school student’s outlook on college and beyond. He still considers Coach Brissette one of his biggest supporters today, alongside assistant wrestling coach Adam Wilson ’11, Professor Nancy Van Hoozier and head strength coach Caleb Grummet ’15. And for students at Morley Stanwood, Jesse knows he has the power to join others’ life-changing support teams.

“The year is still very young, but being able to reassure students that they are able to go to college even when they never thought it was possible is a wonderful experience,” Jesse exclaimed. “The job has been very rewarding, and I love that I have the ability to better someone’s life.”

Learn more about attending Olivet College by scheduling a personalized campus visit or registering for an upcoming admissions event. Contact the Office of Admissions at 800.456.7189 or admissions@olivetcollege.edu for questions.

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