At the high school, she found a personally fulfilling experience she does not hesitate to recommend to those who may be considering Marquette.
“I would say go here because opportunities are limitless and people are welcoming,” she said. “Because we’re a small school you can do pretty much everything. You’re not limited to doing just one sport the entire year or being in two clubs.”
Makena is proof of her claim.
All four years, she played volleyball and softball, including serving as captain of both teams the past two years. She participated in cheerleading and basketball for three years, served as student council vice president for four years, was named to homecoming court for two years and is a member of the Fine Arts Club.
This year Makena has been joined at the high school by her sister, Addison, age 15, another multi-sport student.
With two active daughters, Jamie and Mindy stay organized with a multicolored schedule posted on the kitchen refrigerator.
It can be hectic, said Mindy, but she and Jamie show their support by attending as many events as possible.
This fall, Makena will attend St. Ambrose University, a Catholic liberal arts college with fewer than 4,000 students in Davenport, Iowa.
Because of her class credit work at Illinois Valley Community College during the past few years, she will start her college career with 30 hours of credit.
She will continue her softball career and work toward a Bachelors of Science in nursing degree.
“I want to be a nurse because I really like helping people,” she said.
“I think that shows a lot about her character and her heart,” Mindy said. “Makena’s a giving person. When she said she was going into nursing, that didn’t surprise me at all. And I knew that was something she would be capable of because she is a compassionate and caring person.”
Even so, Mindy is not looking forward to the change.
“I’m not ready for her to leave for school, but I’m not worried about her leaving because I knew with her, it's school first. Everything else second,” Mindy said.