Student Features

Marine Corps next career step for PA Cyber senior

Mar 30, 2015

She has a perfect 4.0 GPA and 24 college credits already under her belt. She tested high enough to qualify for an intelligence training program with the Marine Corps; that, in turn, may help her achieve her career goal of working in the FBI or CIA.

That’s the career plan for PA Cyber Charter School senior Michaela Zoebisch. She has a good start on making it become reality.

Michaela is in the delayed entry program of the Marine Corps, going through weekly training with other “poolees” during her senior high school year in preparation for becoming a recruit in boot camp this summer at Parris Island.

Why the Marines?

“I wanted a challenge and I wanted to serve my country,” she said. After boot camp, her service commitment would be four years.

Her family has a military background, with an uncle who served in the Marines for 20 years and a grandfather also in the Marines. Another uncle who joined the Army was killed in an accident while on active duty in Germany.

In testing for military service, she scored above the threshold to qualify for her program of choice, crypto-linguistics, the study of translating intercepted targeted communications. There is no guarantee of getting into that program, but she is hopeful that the test results along with her academic achievements will make the difference.

Michaela racked up most of her college credits at Luzerne County Community College, with one course taken through Penn State.

Michaela and her sister Abigail were enrolled in PA Cyber by their parents, Jeffrey and Colleen Zoebisch, when they were in eighth and seventh grade, respectively. Abigail is a PA Cyber junior this year.

“I did traditional homeschooling with our girls but I didn’t want the responsibility of teaching the upper grades,” her mother said. They researched cyber schools and found PA Cyber to be highly recommended.

The family lives in Mountaintop, Pa., a town south of Wilkes-Barre. Michaela is active in her church, takes karate lessons and plays the violin.

Why the interest in the FBI or CIA?

“Michaela is interested in criminal justice, and she wants to make her life mean something, to help make the world a safer place,” said her mom.

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About PA Cyber

Serving students in kindergarten through 12th grade, the Pennsylvania Cyber Charter School (PA Cyber) is one of the largest, most experienced, and most successful online public schools in the nation. PA Cyber's online learning environments, personalized instructional methods, and choices of curricula connect Pennsylvania students and their families with state-certified and highly-qualified teachers, and rich academic content that is aligned to state standards. Founded in 2000, PA Cyber is headquartered in Midland (Beaver County) and maintains a network of support offices throughout the state. As a public school, PA Cyber is open for enrollment by any school-age child residing in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, and does not charge tuition to students or families.