My First “Grammy” Or What I Would Like To Call It


I graduated from the career center in 2007 with a 2 year certificate in Graphic Communications. I could feel that this program was the baby step toward a huge future.

Melissa DiVietri
Melissa DiVietri

I think big, therefore, I dream big.


And for those of you who know exactly how tall I am (4’4″) you would laugh out loud at that big  joke. bahah.. I have dry humor, yes?

I completely jump topics ALL the time, my mind always has something odd to say… so back to the Distinguished Alumni Award. I was so gracious to have been nominated by Professor John Ward; the man who made me stay in the program. When I came to the Career Center in 7th grade, I had a tour of the program. At the time, another man was the professor and I wasn’t ‘excited‘ to jump into a graphics field; I was positive I wanted to be a doctor or pharmacist (yeahh.. look at me now).

Jackson Area Career Center - Work Stations
I gave the career center another try in 10th grade with a second tour. To be honest, I just wanted to get out of high school for the day ;] And you know my bluntness, as well as humor. Students ran printing presses, others pulled screens to create designs on tshirts and many students who passing out notepads & calendars that they designed. Yes, they designed and printed ALL of this STUFF!

I enrolled into the photography program which was next door… traditional photography with darkrooms and developing solutions – mind you. I am not that young ;] I just act like a kid some days & as tall as one “FUN SIZE”

Something happened with the photography professor and I was placed into the Graphic Communications program with Mr. John Ward. I tried ever-so-hard to switch this program to a health field… I didn’t like learning about serif’s and san-serifs.. I couldn’t stand taking notes on moveable type and the quality management fathers.. But what I wasn’t expecting, was someone to actually care about something I am passionate about.. I would doodle and paint in photoshop all the time, even when I was supposed to be ‘paying attention’ Professor Ward knew I had a creative talent. He wouldn’t sign the papers to let me switch classes into a health curriculum.  I could have dropped out and stayed at high school all day.. but the Career Center was my break from the drama. The program started to grow on me. Literally, ink all over my hands from running the printing presses && dreaming about typefaces when I fell asleep. I made a career out of the program while I was in the class. I designed notepads & business cards for professors in the building, creating my very first client list.

Seriously how cute is this classroom?
JACC I loved making paper objects with my hands.. and designing my own t-shirts. Everything about this class, was exactly what I wanted to do with my life. Since than, I enrolled at Ferris State University in the New Media / Printing Management program at the College of Engineering Technology. Women in Engineering… a powerful tool for employers. I love advertising, marketing and public relations… I work for the Ferris State University web master, Ted Halm, as a student employee in University Advancement & Marketing; which has been my longest held job of my life. Now I am 3,000 miles away in California, expanding my experience and creating myself.

It has been many years since I was in school, but I constantly give back to the Jackson community. I visit with the students, all 147 of them, teach and inspire how to achieve their goals.. I move their mindsets in the right direction and give them ideas to encourage all possibilities of their future. I haven’t been back in two months, but I hope to hop in after the summer.

Thank you JACC –!!

distinguished alumni Melissa DiVietri
distinguished alumni Melissa DiVietri

The following post has been published in the past: I’m all about giving back & showing support to those who helped me make it this far. Jackson Area Career Center – the place where your future starts.

My World Started Here – The Center of The Universe [Jackson Area Career Center – Jackson, MI]

My entire career up until this point wouldn’t have existed without the Jackson Area Career Center. I enrolled at JACC in the Visual Communications program when I was a sophomore in high school. I dual enrolled high school in the morning and had graphic design and print class during the afternoon.

Jackson Area Career Center - Center of the Universe

Five years later, I still return to Jackson to make an appearance and educate students on the importance of graphic design & printing as a career exploration. I am now a Distinguished Alumni at the Jackson Area Career Center and role model for the design students. I couldn’t be happier to motivate students to follow their dreams. I am a success story, but I learned the fundamentals at JACC first.
Jackson Area Career Center - Distinguished Alumni - Can You Find Me?
Featured in the top center of this image!

Students aren’t aware of how much OPPORTUNITY this program holds for them! Take advantage of what you have in front of you, the moment you step out of the classroom — you are back to step 1!
Jackson Area Career Center - Screen Printing

Notepad workstation — the padding area
Jackson Area Career Center - Notepad Area

See more photos of the Jackson Area Career Center “Visual Communications” program on my Flickr feed: