Tessa Marmion Hessmiller (‘96) can now officially add “Unsung Hero” to her resume. She was recently recognized with the Unsung Hero award at the State Bar of Michigan’s annual conference held recently in Grand Rapids, MI.
After graduating from Princeton Montessori School, Tessa then graduated from The Lawrenceville School, Princeton University, and Georgetown Law School. After receiving her law degree from Georgetown Law School she served for four years in the US Army’s Judge Advocate General’s office in both Korea and Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. Since moving to Grand Rapids, MI, she has dedicated her professional life to serving the community and improving the lives of those around her.
In her role as an Assistant US Attorney for the Western District of Michigan, Tessa works hard on many fronts to both fight and prevent federal crimes against children. She spends the majority of her time prosecuting crimes involving human trafficking and child exploitation. Many of her cases have resulted in long sentences for the perpetrators and have attracted national attention.
To bring more awareness to the community, Tessa holds key positions within two local organizations: she serves as an advocate for and board member of the Grand Rapids Children’s Assessment Center and is chairperson of the Human Trafficking Task Force. Both of these organizations provide a safe haven for children who are victims of sexual violence and trafficking, and her role is to help to educate the community on how to recognize and prevent these heinous crimes against children.
In addition to the above organizations, Tessa also serves as a board member of the Grand Rapids Junior League whose mission is to “improve children’s health by increasing access to safe, cooperative play for children in situations or neighborhoods where it is needed most.” Tessa helps the members understand the dangers of human trafficking and how they can become advocates in their daily lives for children’s safety from adult predators. She leads the organization’s efforts to build safe play areas, to educate children on healthy eating, and to improve the overall health of children.
Our alumni who work for the good of society in various ways are shining examples of how a Montessori education instills in its graduates a world-view and a service mindset as well as a genuine love of continued learning and leading throughout life. Princeton Montessori School is proud of Tessa and wish her continued success as she advocates for children in so many areas of her life.