Who I Am:
My name is Jessica, and I’m from Portsmouth, RI. I have a younger brother and sister, whom I consider to be two of the funniest, most talented people in the world. I lack the music and photography skills they possess, but I’ve gotten by on coloring books and paint by numbers.
I just graduated from Endicott College in MA with a degree in hospitality management. As a dedicated hospitality professional, I spent 77 days in the industry before ending my career. I’m now interning for TWLOHA in hopes of pursuing a career that feels more significant and meaningful to me. As of right now, I think that will involve going to grad school for mental health counseling. Before then, I’d like to spend at least a month traveling around Europe or a year working in Australia.
Stuff I Like:
I have a terrible case of wanderlust, which always leaves me thinking about my next potential adventure. Specifically, I’m often characterized by my love for all things Australian. I studied abroad in Sydney, and it has held a huge piece of my heart ever since. While I was there, I discovered wombats, and I can honestly say I love them more than most things in this world. They are the most adorable, awkward, and perfect animals, and my biggest life goal is to hold one. While loving an animal doesn’t necessarily qualify as a hobby, I’ve somehow managed to make it one.
Despite my affection for Australia, I will always feel most at home in New England. I think this has something to do with the four distinct seasons and the relatively stable weather conditions, which is helpful, considering my intense fear of thunderstorms. I also love that, within a couple of hours, you could go from the ocean to the city, or from farms to mountains.
I enjoy reading, and my all-time favorite book is Perks of Being a Wallflower. I’m losing track of how many times I’ve read it, but it is at least nine thus far. The movie is also high on my list of favorites, along with Bridesmaids and Space Jam. I also get pretty emotionally invested in TV shows. Right now, I’m watching New Girl, Grey’s Anatomy, and How I Met Your Mother.
Why I’m Here:
Over the past few years, I’ve learned two major things: everybody has a story that deserves to be heard, and everyone has the potential to say the words that someone else needs to hear. I know this because of my own experience. When I heard “I’m worried about you,” I learned how to ask for help. When I heard “You are not alone in this,” I learned how to lean on a community of incredible people. When I listened to other people’s stories, I learned how to tell my own. I consider myself lucky, because I can point to so many instances of hearing the right words at exactly the right time—words that made me realize I was strong, I mattered, and I would get through any struggle I was facing.
Realizing something as simple as a conversation has the power to help people has given me a better sense of my own value. Working with TWLOHA now gives me the perfect opportunity to help others the way I have been helped, by reminding them they are not alone and giving them a platform to share their story.