Psychology and fine arts double major Sarah Jesup ’20 is spending the next year as a volunteer with the AmeriCorp VISTA (Volunteers In Service To America) Program, combining her interests in communications, design, and higher education in a resource development and communications position at the See Forever Foundation which operates three schools in Washington, D.C.
“I’ve done a lot of communications and social media work, but I’m also interested in eventually working with students or in higher education, so a communications job at a school with a mission that I believed in seemed like the best of both worlds,” said Jesup.
The See Forever Foundation operates the Maya Academy, the Maya Angelou Adult Learning Center, and Maya Angelou Public Charter School. These schools serve students from a variety of backgrounds.
The Maya Academy, located inside of the New Beginnings Youth Development Center, serves incarcerated young men working towards their high school diploma or GED. The Adult Learning Center provides workforce development and GED preparation to young people 17 and older.
“I’m excited to work in an education environment,” said Jesup. “Giving back and working to support a school that is doing good work in increasing opportunities for youth in D.C. seems like the least I can do.”
This summer Jesup helped Maya Angelou Schools plan and promote Ride Through It, a new biking program around Washington, D.C..
“I got to both talk about the concept with them and also design t-shirts for all of the students,” said Jesup. “It was really exciting to get to see a school doing something really creative to foster community and wellness while school wasn’t in session.”
In her position, Jesup also published content on the school’s social media platforms, does graphic design work for different departments and programs, and helps with fundraising.
Much of the work Jesup does is similar to work she did at Haverford with James House, Haverfest Committee, and the Student Life Office. The skills she honed in those positions–event planning, graphic design, marketing–serve her well in her current position.
As a student, Jesup also took advantage of Hurford Center advising and funding to support the publication of a cookbook. She illustrated each of the 30 recipes she created over a two-year period, and planned a launch party in the then-new VCAM building to celebrate the book, teach fellow Fords her recipe for salsa, and build community through food and cooking.
Jesup hopes that her yearlong appointment at Maya Angelou Schools will not only help her continue to build community, but also learn more about what she wants to do in the future.
“From all my work in Customs, I’ve really enjoyed working with students just starting college,” said Jesup, who is considering a career in higher education. “I’m still unsure about what I want to do, but I think this program will help me explore a lot of different options.”