February 2022 – Over the course of her four years at Drew University, Emilee Marshall C’22 has turned hardship into opportunity and career direction.
Marshall, a business major and anthropology minor, lost both of her parents at the end of her third semester at Drew in December 2019. With the help of her softball teammates and a key faculty mentor, Marshall will graduate from Drew this spring with a career plan and a path to achieve it.
After her mother passed away from ovarian cancer, Marshall pursued an internship with Tell Every Amazing Lady (TEAL), a nonprofit in Brooklyn that offers women’s health services and awareness, with a specific focus on ovarian cancer. Marshall fulfilled her Drew Internship 200 requirement with TEAL, working primarily on social media content creation and marketing.
Next, Marshall parlayed her nonprofit experience and newly-stocked portfolio of informative social media posts into a virtual internship with Play Smart Literacy, an organization that helps bring engaging learning activities and resources to Chicago’s most vulnerable families.
Marshall was tasked with fundraising and creating the organization’s Junior Board, which included outreach to college-aged individuals with an interest in children’s literacy, specifically those in need.
“This internship really sparked my love for education,” she said.
Now, Marshall plans on becoming a high school business teacher.
“I want to teach a diverse group of students and be a person they can reach out to for academic support, and also be someone to help them in times of distress, similar to what I had when I went through my hardships,” she said.
As for her own support group, Marshall first pointed to her softball teammates, who she leaned on “emotionally, physically, and academically.”
“They are my best friends. I would not be where I am today without their constant love and support. I’m forever thankful to Drew Softball for giving me my forever friends.”
Marshall also mentioned Maliha Safri, associate professor of economics, as an “amazing mentor.”
“She always encouraged me to do my best and was always so knowledgeable, helpful, and understanding when it came to the struggles I was going through. She was always focused on getting me to my next step, whether it was in the classroom or in life.”
After what could have been a derailing start to her college experience, Marshall is now stocked to take on the real world armed with a degree, a drive, and a destination.
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