Meet Marissa, CCSF Scholarship Recipient
Wednesday, April 4, 2018
Posted by: Hilary Korabik
Marissa Banks, a recipient of the Chicagoland Construction scholarship, secretly knew that she wanted to work in construction from a young age.
“No matter how many wild career fantasies I had, I was always constantly fascinated by new development,” says Marissa. “I don’t think I fully understood that that translated to passion for building until I was in high school, but now looking back I realize that I was always drawn toward this industry.”
“No matter how many wild career fantasies I had, I was always constantly fascinated by new development.”
Marissa’s dad, who owns a land surveying company, introduced her to the construction industry when she was growing up by letting her and her brother help him tie lathe and highlight drawings. She fondly remembers all the times they’d be driving and her dad would randomly point out the window, saying, “Oh hey, I worked on that.” She was fascinated that her dad was able to create something that she could tangibly see.
Today, Marissa is pursuing a degree in Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of Illinois, where she is wrapping up her junior year. Earlier this year, Marissa decided to take a surveying course at Parkland College in Champaign. Her dad did a little digging and found that there was a weekend land surveying program that would allow her to earn an additional degree in Land Surveying.
At first, Marissa says, she was hesitant, but the first class piqued her interest and she thought, “What the heck? I’ll do it!”
To other students considering a career in engineering, Marissa says, “Excellent!” Though some students might be discouraged to pursue an engineering degree, Marissa believes that in order to be successful one needs to be determined, hard-working, and focused--just like you would need in any other major.
She says the most important piece of wisdom she’s gained in college is that she will never be the best, but that she should never stop trying to be. “I have learned that people will be better than I at things or may simply understand something more easily. However, that doesn’t make me any less smart or determined.”
Outside of school, Marissa tries to spend as much time with her niece, nephew, and siblings as possible. Being an aunt is important to her, and she strives to be a role model. In addition to her family, she’s found an incredible group of friends in college. “I’ve realized that not everyone is as lucky as I am so being able to cherish the relationships I have is something I enjoy very much,” says Marissa.
"Being selected as a scholarship recipient has allowed me to breathe a little more easily and focus on my studies, rather than on the high cost of tuition."
Marissa heard about the Scholarship Foundation through her mom. “She’s always headed the scholarship applications, so naturally she found this incredible opportunity. This Foundation has had a tremendous impact on my studies and I could not be more grateful. Being selected as a scholarship recipient has allowed me to breathe a little more easily and focus on my studies, rather than on the high cost of tuition. In addition, it is always a nice boost of confidence when being selected for something as incredible as this.”
Since its creation, the Chicagoland Construction Scholarship Foundation has awarded 62 renewable scholarships to Chicago-area college students earning a construction-focused degree. You can support outstanding students like Marissa by attending and sponsoring our Chicagoland Construction Scholarship Golf Outing. If you or someone you know would make an exceptional applicant, stay tuned--the 2018 application will launch in August!