With a Goal to Inspire, Justin Marshburn Returns to College

With a Goal to Inspire, Justin Marshburn Returns to College

February 7, 2022
Contact:  Rhonda Jessup, Director of Public Relations


MOUNT OLIVE – At age 40, Justin Marshburn of Jacksonville is returning to college.  Enrolled in the early childhood education program at the University of Mount Olive, he will be juggling a full time job, family obligations, and head baseball and football coaching positions at Trexler Middle School in Richlands, NC.

“It is never too late to go back to college,” Marshburn said. “If you have a passion for something, then go for it. It will not always be easy, but I feel as an adult that I have a higher standard for myself when it comes to school than I did during my teenage years.”

Marshburn, like many adults, found his calling later in life.  He was working in a custodial position at Trexler Middle School, when an assistant coaching position became available.  After only one season, Marshburn was promoted to head coach. He began to see a path for his future that was encouraged by the school’s principal.

“My principal at that, Mrs. Lynn Jackson, was the key figure who made the light bulb go off for me to return to college,” Marshburn said.  “She sat me down in her office one day and told me I had more to offer to the school system than just custodial needs. She told me I had a great relationship with the kids and she could see this through my coaching during our games.”

Marshburn heeded the advice and enrolled in Coastal Community College where he earned his associate’s degree and then accepted the role as a teacher assistant with an EC class at Trexler Middle.  At the beginning of this school year, he accepted a position as an ISS Coordinator.  Realizing a future as a teacher was well within his reach, Marshburn enrolled at the University of Mount Olive in January and is on the path to earning his bachelor’s degree through their online program.

“It takes a lot of time management motivation to juggle work, home life, and school,” he admits. “But, the end result, will be well worth the effort. Being able to shape young minds is one of the main reasons I want to become a teacher.  I want to teach, so I can be a part of helping young people grow and hopefully one day be successful at whatever they decide to do in their adult lives.”

Marshburn’ s advice to other adults considering returning to the classroom,  “If I can work a 40 hour job, have a family of six, coach sports for six months out of the year, and go to school full time, then anyone can do it.”

With a clear path for his future, Marshburn doesn’t plan to stop with his bachelor’s degree.  “My future career goals are to teach in my local school district and eventually have my own football or baseball program at the high school level to go along with being an athletic director. Then, I would like to attain my master’s degree and possibly become a principal.”

Marshburn is proof positive that with the right motivation, a solid plan, and a clear path to success, any goal is achievable if you want it bad enough.  On track to graduate in the summer of 2023, Marshburn will be the first member of his family to earn a four-year degree. He is setting the bar for his children, Chloe-17, Kalyee-15, Xavier-9, and Ty-6, to follow in his footsteps.

The University of Mount Olive is a private institution rooted in the liberal arts tradition with defining Christian values. The University is sponsored by the Convention of Original Free Will Baptists.  For more information, visit www.umo.edu.