Posted November 19, 2012
Jess was involved in service at Bowdoin from the very beginning taking part in a Community Immersion Pre-Orientation trip. She mentored during her first two years and became more involved with the McKeen Center the summer before her senior year as the Common Good Day Fellow. She continued to work on office projects for the McKeen Center through her final year at Bowdoin.
Jess knew she was interested in a career international development, but it was her participation in the McKeen Center's Alternative Spring Break program during her senior year that led her to Safe Passage. Safe Passage strives to break the cycle of poverty in the community surrounding the Guatemala City garbage dump. The organization gives the at-risk children of people who work sorting garbage the tools to attend school as well as the educational reinforcement they need to succeed there. Currently they serve more than 300 families and more than 560 children attend their programs every day.
After graduation Jess started out as a classroom volunteer for Safe Passage - forming relationships with students and getting to know the program then became a Support Teams Coordinator leading groups of short-term volunteers. She has since moved into her current position as a Development Officer coordinating Guatemala-based donations and public relations. It all came full circle a year ago March when Jess guided the Bowdoin ASB group through their own trip! This year she also helped facilitate both the alumni and student ASB trips. Read more about these trips.
A few months ago Jess moved to Burlington, VT to work with the international development contractor, Tetra Tech ARD. As an Assistant Project Manager her focus is mainly on projects in Latin America.
“My work with the McKeen Center led me to view service as a much broader concept than simply volunteering—more as a way to think about my place in the world.”