January 9, 2017
Students at St. Maria Goretti High School had the chance to hear from school alumna, Jessica Swarner, last Friday about her experiences after graduating from Goretti. Swarner, a member of Goretti’s class of 2013, was the guest alumni speaker at the school’s January 6 Junior Ring Day Mass – an annual tradition where juniors are officially recognized as upperclassmen at the school. She currently attends Barrett, the Honors College at Arizona State University, where she received a full-ride scholarship. She has studied and worked in cyberpsychology and cybersecurity labs over the past three years, and interned with the Arizona Public Interest Research Group researching public transit. Last year, she spent a semester in Washington, D.C. reporting on sustainability issues for the Washington Monthly magazine.
In her remarks, Swarner encouraged the Goretti juniors, and the entire student body, to set their sights high, and believe in their abilities.
“I can tell you that if you put in the work to step out of your comfort zone and ask yourself what you really want to do, what you really dream of doing, you can do that in college, no matter where you go, no matter if you haven’t figured it out just yet,” Swarner said. “I’m so happy to be back at Goretti, and I’m so happy for you – the junior class because I know you will all do some amazing things.”
Jessica is currently working on her honors thesis project where she is creating a website for parents of high school students that provides information on how to understand and talk to children about their online presence and activities, specifically involving social media. The website will include sections explaining how each popular social media app works, as well as information on the less familiar apps. She will be presenting research on both the pros and cons of social media applications and recommendations for parents on how to be aware of what their children are doing online.
If you are interested in hearing more or would like to become part of a focus group, please contact Jessica at firstname.lastname@example.org.