30-Year Odyssey in Education and Career
For Alum Jeffrey Presha
grade graduation rehearsal, MCCC alumnus Jeffrey Presha vividly
recalls a member of the Police Athletic League asking his class
if anyone wanted to serve in the field of law. Presha was the only
one to raise his hand.
In a career that has spanned 30 years, Presha has made good on that
pledge, having served first as a security officer, then as a probations
investigator, and currently as a family court investigator in Middlesex
County. In 2009, he achieved an academic milestone, graduating from
Mercer County Community College with an AAS degree in Paralegal
"I always wanted to be the 'good guy'," said Presha, who
grew up in Miller Homes in Trenton during the '60s and '70s and
is a graduate of Trenton Central High School. "Growing up in
the projects, I knew people who viewed law enforcement negatively.
I did not subscribe to that."
In his job as an investigator for the New Jersey Judiciary Superior
Court in Middlesex County's Family Division Child Support Unit,
Presha enjoys being exposed to the inner workings of the courts.
"It is very rewarding to work in the halls of justice,"
he says. He is quick to credit Mercer County Community College for
playing an instrumental in shaping his career direction and knowledge
of the legal system.
L. Presha '09
courses sporadically at MCCC during the 1980s and 1990s while juggling
responsibilities as a husband and father of two, Presha finally focused
on college in earnest in 2000. He recalls the encouragement and support
he received from MCCC faculty members. Two professors quickly come to
mind: Ed Paddock, who taught accounting, and Emmaline Marks, his English
composition instructor. He particularly remembers how Marks instilled
discipline and challenged him to be his best. "She sparked my creative
side," said Presha, who proceeded to excel in both English 101 and
102. "It has been an exciting 30-year odyssey," he observes.
While an MCCC paralegal student, Presha enjoyed visiting the United States
Supreme Court, the Capitol , and the Library of Congress. "The program
was a great experience for me," said Presha. "It really gave
me the professional insight, guidance and direction I needed to successfully
advance in all of my positions. I highly recommend it to anyone interested
in entering the field."
Today, Presha brings a high level of discipline and dedication to his
job in the Family Court Unit, where he monitors child support cases, including
reviewing court orders pertaining to parental visitation time and child
support payments. He also serves as the Unit's liaison for litigant immigration
and naturalization service (INS) issues and acts as an information coordinator
for "New Jersey Kids," which oversees a sophisticated computerized
database for children registered in the family court system.
to his present job, he worked as an investigator in Middlesex County's
Probations Division. He also served as a legal services assistant in the
New Jersey Department of Corrections and as a security/safety officer
in a number of settings.
Presha plans to further his education to obtain a bachelor's degree in
law or justice at a nearby four-year college. His only regret is not completing
his coursework at Mercer sooner. "I just should have done it 30 years
ago," he said. "I have always had a thirst for knowledge. MCCC
gave me the confidence to continue to pursue my education. "
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