Marcie Sample, courtesy of WSAC

The National Council for Community and Education Partnerships has recognized Washington Student Achievement Council’s Marcie Sample as the 2019 Professional of the Year.

Sample is the associate director of college access and support at the Washington Student Achievement Council in Olympia, where she manages Washington State GEAR UP (Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs).

GEAR UP is a statewide initiative to promote education equity and encourage low-income, first generation students to pursue higher education.

Sample said she considers herself “a GEAR UP kid before there was GEAR UP.” The child of teenage parents, she always received the message that she would go to college. But as a first-generation student, Sample needed help from other adults in her life to succeed. Sample found a mentor in her school counselor, who helped her get admitted to the University of Washington, where she completed a Bachelor’s degree. She later completed her Master in Teaching at The Evergreen State College.

Since 2007, Sample has worked with school districts across the state to ensure students have the knowledge and preparation needed to pursue their dreams. She now manages Washington’s fourth GEAR UP grant.

NCCEP applauded Sample’s 12 years of service in a statement, which said, “Marcie has positively impacted the lives of over 20,000 low-income, under-served, and first-generation students.”