Marietta Student Life Center

The How and Why of the Marietta Student Life Center

How do teachers and principals address issues of transiency, family changes, poverty, immigration, addiction, mental, emotional, and social health? In almost any school across the United States, the answer is simple: nothing. Teachers, principals, and more importantly, students, know external factors get in the way of student learning, but don’t know what to do about them.  Through the collective capacity of the Marietta community, Marietta City Schools is leading the way with regard to student and family support.  While working to mitigate self-identified barriers to success and increase student achievement, the Marietta Student Life Center works to grow the WHOLE child by providing systems of support aimed at growing within each student a sense of optimism, worth, belonging, and purpose.    For more information on the center, please read, Why Do Schools Fail? Marietta Asked the Students, published in the Atlanta Journal Constitution in May, 2017.

What is the Marietta Student Life Center  – MSLC (formerly known as the Graduate Marietta Student Success Center)?

Grounded and developed through student voice, Marietta Student Life Center is our community’s approach to growing optimistic, self-confident, and purposeful graduates.  Through the MSLC, Marietta City Schools is leveraging community partnerships, as well as, state and federal resources, to holistically meet the family, social & emotional, and academic needs of our students. By providing wrap-around student and family services related to job skill readiness, college and career coaching, mentoring, housing, addiction and abuse recovery services, clinical support to strengthen emotional and mental health, food and clothing needs, parent education, probation and family services, the Marietta school-based community resource center is gaining state and national recognition as a common-sense, community approach to meeting the needs of today’s teens. By empowering the voice of students and providing students with wrap-around services for every need for every student, the Marietta Student Life Center approach is revolutionizing student support within the public education system.

Charter Mission Statement

The Marietta Student Life Center mobilizes staff members and partners within the community to equip our students to graduate prepared and optimistic for their life journey.   By matching the skills and resources of our stakeholders with the needs and desires of each student, we ignite hope and illuminate a positive path for life success.


Statement of Values

We believe in the power and truth of student voice.

We believe academic and life success begins by understanding “the why and the who” of the whole child.

We believe every student deserves the opportunity to fulfill his or her potential, and we believe our students and families can overcome negative life circumstances to create a better future.

We believe in the power of community collaboration to transform lives.

Leigh Colburn is a career educator, community leader, and educational consultant working with school districts who wish to create wrap-around service opportunities for their students and families. For ten years, Leigh proudly served as the principal of Marietta High School until founding the Graduate Marietta Student Success Center on July 1, 2015. As Director of the Success Center, she established dynamic partnerships with the Marietta Board of Education, the City Council, public safety departments, and community groups to improve the quality of life for Marietta’s teens. During her career with Marietta City Schools, Leigh garnered many awards such as One of 75 Notable Women in Cobb County History, the Cobb County Creating Community Award, Marietta High School Distinguished Alumnus of the Year, Marietta City Schools Employee of the Year, Marietta’s Citizen of the Year, and Woman of the Year by liveSAFE Resources.

Read more about Leigh here.

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