Skip to main content

Hard work, volunteering turns student's academics around

April 20, 2010

Jesse Rojko admits he wasn’t the best student at Prescott High School. He played baseball and did just enough homework to avoid getting kicked off the team.

He not only turned a corner on academics when he came to Arizona State University, he threw himself into volunteer service. Rojko has received the Scholar of Promise Award from the National Society of Collegiate Scholars, one of 29 students nationwide to be recognized for his dedication to youth-oriented service and education.

The ASU junior has given more than 100 hours of community service to helping disabled individuals, working with Guthrie Mainstream Services to provide clerical support, instruct clients and work with field supervisors on compliance issues. As a business management major in the W.P. Carey School of Business, he found the connection was a good fit.

Guthrie Mainstream Services has three centers in the East Valley area and focuses on training, attendant care and in-home respite services, as well as social and recreational programs. Rojko particularly enjoyed planning events and working with children, playing sports with them.

When he came to ASU he had to learn time management skills and good study habits. He didn’t yet qualify for admission to Barrett, the Honors College, so he had to mature and prove himself.

“I’ve learned that if you truly apply yourself, anything is possible,” said Rojko, who now has a 3.91 GPA and hopes to attend law school. “Since coming here, I have turned around my study habits and have earned my way into the Barrett Honors College as an upper division transfer. It goes to show what hard work can do for you.”

His favorite things about going to ASU are getting to attend all the sporting events and being able to study any subjects he wants. Although he’s majoring in business, his favorite class at ASU has been astronomy.

“Growing up, I always had an interest in astronomy but never really had a chance to take it seriously," he said. "It was a great class, and I learned so much. It’s incredible that ASU offers so many different classes that students can learn pretty much anything they want to.”

He says his best experience to date has been getting to study abroad in Australia for a semester, at the University of Sydney. He toured the outback, snorkeled the Great Barrier Reef, saw a symphony in the Opera House and made lifelong friends.

Rojko is part of the Phi Alpha Delta international law fraternity and plans to take classes at the ASU law school as an undergraduate through Project Excellence, a partnership with Barrett and the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law.