Meet Kaci Maris
TEACH Events Manager
For Kaci, the value of education is priceless. At 29, she went back to school to pursue her Associate’s degree from College of the Mainland and later earned a full scholarship to the University of Houston, from where she’ll graduate this year with two Bachelor’s degrees, in addition to retaining certificates in fundraising and grant-writing. It’s this same dedication and understanding of the importance of hard work that she hopes to instill in her three school-aged children.
Leaving behind a legacy is important to Kaci; so is being a source of support and inspiration for others – much like Professor Dalel Serda at the College of the Mainland was for her. Kaci credits her academic accomplishments and her continued passion for education to Professor Serda’s relentless encouragement. At the Lettermen’s Association at Texas A&M, Kaci worked closely with former student athletes, aiding in their post-college transition. Today, as TEACH’s Events Manager, Kaci has the distinct opportunity to advance a mission close to her heart, blending her skills in fundraising, event planning and marketing with her passion for all things education. When she’s not working on making a difference, Kaci loves spending time with her children – watching movies, hiking, visiting Disney World and volunteering – often alongside the littlest of the family: their beloved Aussiedoodle, Woody.
TEACH: What do you love most about working in education?
KM: That I actually know that I’m serving a true purpose with everything I do!
TEACH: Who do you consider one of the great teachers in your life and why?
KM: Professor Dalel Serda at the College of the Mainland. She pushed me to go above and beyond what I even knew that I was capable of. In fact, she pushed me so hard that I wasn’t always fond of her, but she singled me out because she saw my potential. Today, we remain very close, and I owe so much of what I’ve been able to accomplish to her.
Because of Professor Serda, I graduated with a lot of medals around my neck. Thanks to her insistence, encouragement and belief in me, I became the president of the Honor Society and went on to win international, national and regional awards.
TEACH: At the end of the day, what is one thing you find most fulfilling about your job?
KM: Connecting with our donors and telling potential donors who TEACH is and what it does. On my drive home, I like to think back on what I did that day and how my job has a ripple effect. I want to know I’m helping others. I want to know I’ve done something to better someone else’s future. Leaving a legacy is really important to me.
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