For her first three years at Vanderbilt, Jessie has been able to combine her interest in youth education with her love of travel and serve children from all over the world. In Nashville, Jessie is active in Manna Project International, the Nashville chapter of Room to Read, and serves as a tutor for Spanish speakers learning English as a Second Language. She plans on spending her final year in the Ingram&Scholarship Program integrating her academic work with international education development, her experience interning for the State Department's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, and her past service work with non-profits. Her goal is to unite Manna Project International and the Vanderbilt branch of Room to Read and create collaborative programming and development projects that unite the two. Her final year in the Ingram&Scholarship Program will integrate all she has learned in the past three years through this program, and will hopefully help her achieve her end goal of a career in international education development.
She is a mentor for high school students as well as adults and helps with cultural adjustment difficulties as well as English language learning. Through Manna Project International (MPI), Jessie has learned a lot about holistic community building and the power of working alongside the people she serves. During her sophomore year, she was the Vice President of Global Initiatives for MPI, and was in charge of organizing all Spring Break and Thanksgiving Break service trips.
Jessie interned for the State Department's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs during summer 2010, and learned about the mechanics involved in international education and cultural exchange programs. She spent her first two summers doing summer projects, both involving international education. The summer after her freshman year, she traveled to Usa River, Tanzania to teach English at the Meru Peak School, a primary and secondary boarding school. She taught English and Math classes, and helped the school set up a library. She collected donations prior to her eight weeks of service, and shipped more than 8,000 pounds of textbooks, novels, and reference books to the school to help set up a library. The most rewarding part by far was seeing the kids’ faces when they opened the pages of the first books they had ever held in their hands. For her second summer of service, Jessie went to Cordoba, Argentina to intern for Fundacion AFOS. She worked in a very poor neighborhood implementing education programs for the kids that lived there. Her biggest accomplishment was a class she taught called "Quien soy yo?” or "Who am I?" She taught this class to encourage the kids' future dreams and plans, and raise the kids' self-esteem and sense of pride for their community. Through all three summers, she has learned about the difference in education systems across the world, and how different countries implement and value different skills and abilities.