Alumna Spotlight: Maria Grace Forbes [05/23/2017]

Maria Grace Forbes Maria Grace Forbes is a 2016 Prairie State College graduate. Homeschooled in high school, Forbes started taking classes at Prairie State College at the age of 15. She graduated high school at the age of 16, and had earned her associate degree by the age of 18.

Forbes is currently a student at Olivet Nazarene University, where she started as a junior in spring 2017. She says she has always wanted to do something creative, initially planning for a career in graphic design. However, over the years, her passions changed, and she is currently pursuing bachelor’s degrees in both psychology and studio art, with the intent to pursue a career in art therapy after graduation. Forbes plans to complete both majors in only five semesters.

During the fall 2016 semester, Forbes completed a seven-week missionary trip in Thailand with I Cornerstone Christian Center and Foursquare Missions International. While there, she taught art and English at a learning center in Mae Sot, a small town in Thailand located at the border of Bhurma.

“The kids were my favorite part of the trip,” Forbes said. They were so bright, creative and inquisitive and so much fun to work with.”

Forbes said the time she spent in Thailand helped her better understand what she wanted to pursue as a career. Before the trip, Forbes said she thought about pursuing a degree in art education, but the trip solidified her decision to not pursue a career in the classroom.

“I like one-on-one interaction more,” she said. “A career in art therapy is just a better fit. It will combine two of my favorite things – helping people and making art.”