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Family-oriented Pachko seeks to empower others

By Tim Wilmes
On November 1, 2012

Throughout the year, college athletes constantly try to balance their academic and personal lives while simultaneously working to improve in their particular sport. It's a daunting task for any college
athlete, especially considering how difficult it is to maintain that balance.
There is one Xavier athlete who has remarkably gone above and beyond in this area, however, and she carries with her an amazing
secret.
Xavier basketball's Jessica Pachko didn't need a costume
for Halloween this year - she's already Superwoman.
Pachko, a redshirt
senior from Cincinnati, has successfully
balanced her social work and psychology majors,
remained committed to her family and excelled at keeping a steady production
in basketball.
While many athletes
do their best to keep a social life, Pachko makes sure that what she cares about most are important
parts of her life.
One of these areas is her degree in social work. She is devoting a lot of her time pursuing
this passion at Xavier, spending
two days a week working at Twin Towers Community Center for her field work placement.
For Pachko, her social work degree is a way of life. After she graduates she plans to get a Master's in social work, potentially with a focus in becoming an addiction
specialist.
"I love social work because
it focuses on the strengths of people, communities and populations instead
of focusing
on the person as the problem or fixing weaknesses," she said. "Social work is about empowering people instead of merely advocating
for them. It focuses on community instead of just the individual."
Another facet of Pachko's life revolves
around her love of family. She makes it a priority to see her family whenever she gets time off and especially loves spending time with her nieces and nephews.
A person who places a heavy importance on family,
Pachko, transferred from Marquette after her sophomore year to be closer to her family, and said that her "family comes to all of [her] home games and even some of [the] closer road games... We have Sundays off, so it'll be a family day."
Of course, one of Pachko's obvious passions is basketball but for her, there is no disconnect between
her love of basketball and the other passions that she makes priorities in her life. In fact, all of her experiences in the things she loves help her in basketball.
"In [social work], it's all about community to garner change, and [in basketball]
it's basically the same thing," Pachko said. "You engage
in community to produce an outcome - winning games. Both are really hard, but really worthwhile."
Jess Pachko makes it a priority to maintain a balance of her many commitments, and even more so to make sure that the things she spends her time doing are also the things she is most passionate about.
Amazingly, Pachko somehow flies under the radar at Xavier, despite
her many achievements. But it's all in a day's work for Xavier's Superwoman.


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