Jesse captured the title of Miss International 2013 at the annual Miss International Pageant held at the North Shore Center for the Performing Arts in Skokie Illinois. During her year of service Jesse will be promoting her personal platform of Volunteerism: Building Stronger Communities Through Service.
Jesse is 25-years old and has spent her life living in various cities across the Empire State. She obtained her Bachelor of Arts Degree in Mass Communication from Iona College in New Rochelle, New York and is also well on her way to completing her MBA in Marketing. Someday she hopes to work in the Community Relations and Volunteer Engagement field. In the meantime, Jesse enjoys guiding her clients as they discover and learn to communicate their personal brands through her consulting company, JL Presentations.
It was her small town roots though that instilled the values of volunteerism and service. However, it took adversity to find her passion there. Like so many young people Jesse experienced feelings of isolation and depression, but she found a place of solace in community service. “Fulfilled. Blessed. Valued. Proud - Just a few of the feelings that come to my mind following a volunteer activity. Knowing I made a day brighter or life easier truly provides an unparalleled feeling of personal joy. When I volunteered I never had to worry about what I was wearing, what neighborhood I lived in, or question my worth. My presence was valued and my good intentions were appreciated. I felt home. It was that strength and acceptance that have built me into the strong and independent person I am today. With so much negativity and pressure on me from my peers during my pivotal adolescent years, it was volunteerism that saved me, built me up, and helped me realize that a warm and willing heart is the most important characteristic to have regardless of the thoughts and words of others.”
Jesse has seen first-hand how introducing someone to service can positively affect their demeanor through her work with students while traveling on her V for Volunteer campaign. She has created a three-step process of engagement, education, and empowerment to turn excuses into excitement in order to make volunteerism personal, interactive, and fun. By engaging people and learning what their passions, skills, and schedules are, educating them on various volunteering resources that they can use, and making them feel like the rockstars of their own service experience, Jesse believes that lifelong volunteers can be built.
Her goal for this year is to prove how versatile and flexible volunteering can be through both her own travel and experiences, and by highlighting our existing everyday heroes along the way. If we can inspire one potential volunteer to make service a permanent fixture in their life, Jesse feels that we have already made this world stronger. “Imagine the magnitude of good works we could accomplish if we all just took on one new service project this year. I encourage you to make a volunteer profile on VolunteerMatch.org. Peruse the opportunities - you may even find one you can do from the comfort of your own home. Take the chance and make the change.”
One person can start a movement. Let the movement start with you!
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