Originally from Asheville, North Carolina, Jessica graduated from Harvard University in 2010 with a degree in sociology. She worked as a peer educator for the Food Literacy Project, served low-income families at Boston Medical Center through Project Health, and interned with the Food Bank for New York City and the Appalachian Sustainable Agriculture Project, where she implemented a food stamp outreach program for a local farmers’ market. Her senior honors thesis examined food stamp users’ opinions about local/organic food and healthy eating.
Field placement: Second Harvest of Silicon Valley
San Jose, California
Jessica developed a training curriculum and conducted workshops for community-based agencies interested in SNAP prescreening and application assistance in Santa Clara and San Mateo counties. This work resulted in a three-tiered model of partnership for the Food Bank's member agencies and community partners to become more involved in SNAP outreach. Jessica also collaborated with County Social Services to promote SNAP access pilot initiatives in geographically-isolated regions, including a mobile Food Stamp Outreach vehicle and the EBT Restaurant Meals Program.
Policy placement: National Family Farm Coalition
Jessica worked to support the membership base of NFFC by expanding NFFC's involvement in beginning farmer mentoring programs and connecting NFFC members to local mentoring organizations. She also developed a media project to showcase the effects of corporate consolidation within agriculture on farmers, fishers and growers, as well as monitor implementation of 2008 Farm Bill programs affecting NFFC's member base.