When Jessica Sarich graduates from Youngstown State University on Dec. 16 with a bachelor’s degree in hospitality management, she will be looking back on a college career spent helping her sorority sisters and friends.
She said getting involved with Greek life was the best decision she has ever made.
“Without Greek life, I wouldn’t have met so many amazing people and had the time of my life in college,” Sarich said. “I’ve also been able to do so much service for the community, and it’s been very rewarding.”
Sarich served as president of the YSU chapter of Zeta Tau Alpha, a sorority that raises funds for breast cancer research. She said her sorority sisters were her greatest motivation during college.
“I worked hard to get good grades so that I could contribute toward our high academic achievement on a local and national level,” she said. “Zeta Tau Alpha as an organization has taught me so much, and I could never give nearly as much back to it compared to what I gained.”
Sarich said she hopes to attend graduate school at YSU in the spring for counseling. She plans to work at a university when she completes her master’s degree.
Sarich said she appreciates the faculty and staff at YSU and is happy to stay for another degree.
“I’ve heard a lot of people complain about so many things here, but I think we are lucky compared to so many universities with the staff and faculty that are here to aid you in any way,” she said. “So, utilize them, get to know them and appreciate them.”
Sarich said YSU freshmen should remember to make the best out of their experience here. She said there is more to be learned than is taught in the classroom.
“Give YSU a chance, and get involved,” she said. “The experience is all what you make of it, and without my involvement and activities, I wouldn’t have had the amazing experience that I had. It’s more than just some place to take classes.”
Sarich’s close friend and sorority sister Stephanie Rozzo said Sarich is involved with YSU’s Up ‘til Dawn. She said Sarich planned events to raise money for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.
“Jessica is an amazing leader, and she is very determined,” Rozzo said. “I am very lucky to have someone like her in my life, and I know anything she does with her life she will do by putting her whole heart into it.”
Carrie Anderson, Zeta Tau Alpha’s coordinator of programs and marketing, said Sarich was an influential leader in Greek life.
“She has had a significant presence in the Greek system during her tenure through her many leadership roles and the programs she has facilitated,” Anderson said. “What I’ll miss the most about Jess is her dependability, passion and leadership.”
Anderson said Sarich was Greek Campus Life co-chair, and that she planned Greek Week and the 59th Annual Greek Sing. She was also the vice president of recruitment.
Sarich received various scholarships during her college tenure, including the Arby’s Leadership Scholarship, the Ilajean Feldmiller Scholarship and the Jermaine Hopkins Scholarship.