Last year was a big one for Climb graduate Marissa, culminating in the moment she stood on stage at the University of Wyoming’s College of Agriculture and Natural Resources.

Marissa says that 10 years ago, she definitely wouldn’t have seen herself there. She was working at a fast food restaurant. When her kids got sick, she couldn’t be home with them or had to forfeit a paycheck, and the family was on public assistance.

“It’s amazing how my initiative to learn computer skills has changed (my kids’) lives.”


Fast forward to today…and Marissa is an Office Associate in the University of Wyoming’s Molecular Biology Department, where she was placed after graduating from Climb’s Office Careers training in 2012. She’s had hard-earned promotions along the way and taken on more and more responsibility for the department.

“I hadn’t done any accounting before this job,” says Marissa. “Now I’m navigating the University’s new accounting system. I have an eye for detail. Numbers just work for me. The people I work with say I’m a problem solver. That I’m smart. They’ve told me that I know how to fix a problem before it becomes a problem.”

And that’s why she stood on stage last year: to accept the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources’ 2017 Outstanding Staff Member Award, for which she was nominated by her colleagues.

Having reached such a critical career milestone, what’s next? “I want to watch my kids grow,” Marissa says. “I’m now able to give them a back yard to play in, my girls are in swimming, one is in the school orchestra, and another  takes piano. It’s amazing how my initiative to learn computer skills has changed their lives.”

Video: Marissa Shares Her Climb Story

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