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Marisa Merritt

What have you been doing since graduating from Colfax High School? 
I got my bachelor’s of nursing at the University of Nevada, Reno, and went on to get my master’s while I lived in Hawaii. I am now a nurse practitioner and focus on finding and treating the root cause of illness through a holistic and integrative approach. My mission is to create a healthier and happier world!

Where do you live now? What are you doing there?
I live in Encinitas, CA working at an integrative medicine clinic as well as UCSD Health. I spend most of my free time outside, surfing, hiking, practicing meditation, and yoga.

Do you keep in touch with any of your Live Oak classmates?
Yes. Some are still my best friends to this day. Even if I haven’t seen a classmate for 5 years, the minute I see them it feels like no time has passed. The love and connection never goes away.

Do you have a story that you want to share about your time at Live Oak? 
Around 7th grade, we were asked to write and create a children’s book that would be read to an assigned kindergarten buddy. They were all so observant and excited to have us there. This experience made me feel so important and helped me realize how much the younger kids looked up to us. It showed me that any small action would be seen and I better act out of integrity because you never know who’s watching. 

In what ways do you notice the impact of your Waldorf education and experience at Live Oak showing up in your life now?
I am so thankful for Waldorf every single day. I have gotten comments that I must have not grown up with a TV in my house because I am so “present”, “reverent”, or “have a love for nature”. I have also gotten comments that I must have not grown up with a TV because every movie reference goes over my head. In other ways, Live Oak gave me so much confidence, self-love, and taught us to be kind to others. Every teacher led by example and showed each student that they were loved and cared for. Through acting in plays and performing on stage every year I gained so much confidence as well as skills in public speaking that has been useful on many occasions. 

What are you most grateful for about your Live Oak years?
There is so much to be learned and explored in our younger, more imaginative, and creative years while our brains are developing. Live Oak allowed us to play in the dirt, taught us how to create art, play music, whittle wood, and throw a javelin. All the things that help develop the creative side of our brain while promoting more attention span to learn academics. This has still carried on with me throughout my studies and ways of being. 

Share some exciting or unusual experiences, hobbies, travels, you have had.
Live Oak taught me to think outside the box, know that anything is possible, and gave me the tools to live and create the life I want to live. There is so much to be explored and I knew that from the moment I graduated high school; I wasn’t sure how, but I was going to Spain. I had minimal savings but began researching ways I could live inexpensively there. A few months later I was living with a Spanish couple and their 3 children as their Au Pair immersed in a new culture, learning a new language, and gaining ever-lasting friendships. 10 years and 25 countries later, my fascination for learning about other cultures, medical practices, and ways of never-ending. 

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