Jessy’s interest in science started far before she ever thought about teaching. Her oldest brother, Johnny, was diagnosed with leukemia at a very young age. Nearly all of her earliest memories are from his fight. There were lots of nights in the Ronald McDonald House, days of being surrounded by and playing with sick children at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, and community events where everyone joined together to support Johnny and his fight against leukemia. Constantly interacting with scientists and physicians showed her how powerful their work was, and she has had a craving for science as a way to empower and help society ever since. She decided to pursue a triple degree in Biochemistry, Molecular & Cellular Biology, and Spanish to reach these goals.
It was not until her first semester at the University of Arizona that she realized how much she enjoyed teaching STEM. Jessy stumbled across the opportunity of teaching an after-school math program at a bilingual middle school in town (thanks to the CBC listserv!) She consistently incorporated science themes and applications into her classes and saw how much her students liked the challenge. Because of this experience, Jessy knows she wants to incite this same excitement in future generations of students.
If the U of A has taught Jessy anything it is to do what you are most passionate about. She originally wanted to pursue a PhD in biology so that she could have a research career centered around pediatric cancers. However, through opportunities like working at Roskruge Bilingual K-8 School, she has discovered that being in the community and empowering those around her is what brings her the most fulfillment. After graduation, she is hoping to teach abroad before she comes back to the United States to pursue further graduate studies.
Jessy would like to thank everyone who has supported her throughout her undergraduate journey:
- The CBC and MCB Departments for guiding her through courses.
- Dr. Dante Lauretta and Dr. Ronald Lynch for providing her with the opportunities to do research.
- ACS for recognizing her potential and financially supporting her.
- Her family and friends for always being there and inspiring her to pursue her dreams.