Sarah Zigila has a favorite saying: “Let my haters be my motivators.”
It’s carried the former Macomb student through difficult times when she couldn’t find support for her ambitions, and it’s something she’s shared with countless high school students while working with Winning Futures, a Warren-based non-profit organization that empowers youth to succeed through mentoring, strategic planning, and workforce preparation.
“Even if you don’t have support,” Zigila says, “you can choose your own path.”
Zigila is “an Eastsider through and through” and came to Macomb straight from L’Anse Creuse High School in 2000, but she admittedly “fell off the wagon” during that first year. No one in her family had finished college, and she said it was hard to find the help she needed to continue her education.
But she found a way, returning to get her associate degree from Macomb in 2003 and later earning a bachelor’s in community development from Central Michigan.
“I encourage others often – if you’re confused or unsure, Macomb is a phenomenal school and I strongly recommend it,” Zigila said.
After more than three years at Winning Futures, Zigila is starting a new job as business development executive at Innovative Learning Group in Troy. And this spring, she will earn her master’s degree in training and development from Oakland, proof that persistence pays off.
“It’s something no one can take away from you,” Zigila said. “Other than getting married, it will honestly be one of the happiest days of my life.”