Hell Bent On Helping
A Message from Jess
I was first inspired by women who set the tone of do - gooding like Princess Diana and Mother Teresa. I admired not only their strength to stomach some of the toughest issues - most of which the the world had turned their back to - but also their determination and perseverance that change is viable.
Audrey Hepburn and Angelina Jolie were who first introduced the notion of creating a platform and utilizing it for good. With a formal education in dance and some acting instruction, I recognized my parallels with both women and decided as a child that my life would be spent "getting famous and getting rich, then giving it all back" - verbatim, as I would share with everyone who ever asked for the next 20 years.
When I first shared these plans with my mother, who at the time was working in video production, she began bringing me on set. It was then that I began my journey into the entertainment world, ironically with no one better to further instill a moral ethic of kindness and acceptance - Mister Rodgers'.
I went on to what felt like hundreds of casting calls, thousands of hours of tunnel vision focus, and years of portfolio building. When I was signed to my first agency I began constantantly traveling across the country for bookings which meant more clients and less time to do anything but work. With a growing internet following came a growing network, which led me to connecting with an industry executive who expressed interest in my management.
While in discussion during negotiations, he asked me what my ultimate goals are. After hearing my long list of career to-do's, magazines I wanted to be featured in, companies I wanted to work with, he asked me again, what my ultimate goal was not just for my career, but for me in my life. My answer was simple - to give back. His answer was, too; "Then why don't you go do that?"
Which brings us to today.
Creating thought provoking imagery in a world of mindless media starts the conversation to raise awareness and campaign for diversity and tolerance. By shining a spotlight on societal and environmental issues the door is opened to thoughtful discourse and change.
..to being readily available and open to opportunities to make a difference
...with like minded individuals who want to change the world for good
.. to global change by raising the neccessary funds and reaching goals to see it through
My Volunteer Experiences
(f)Retailer at the FreeStore 15104 - Poverty Alleviation
A shipping container turned (f)Retail (free retail) space run entirely by volunteers from donations of new and gently used clothing serving 1500 people monthly.
Community Clean Up Bench Building Initiative - Community
Partnering with the Mon Valley ICD carpentry training program to craft, assemble, and paint wooden benches for the community, made from repurposed wood from homes set for demolition.
Guest Speaker at Girl Scouts Troop 52332 - Children
Speaking with girl scouts about the importance of giving back and effective ways to do so, and collecting donated items for the FreeStore 15104.
Guest Speaker at Braddock Youth Project - Children
Speaking with preteen girls about inner beauty and confidence during BYP, a youth work skills program that seeks to foster skills that will aid youth in advancing towards positive life outcomes.
Server at Bethlehem Haven Women's Shelter - Homeless/Poverty Alleviation
Cooking and serving dinner every second Tuesday of the month to 15-30 women who are either homeless or misplaced, with a group of women from Shadyside Presbyterian Church.
Volunteer Fundraising & Auction - Education
Assisting with the Annual WPSD Auction & Fundraiser, which raises money to go towards the students & student activities at the Western PA School for the Deaf.
Volunteer Child Supervisor at The Center for Creative Play - Children
Supervising and entertaining both mainstream and mentally and physically handicapped children during their open play time and arts and crafts.
25% - AMERICANS WHO VOLUNTEER
94% - YOUNG PEOPLE WHO WANT TO VOLUNTEER
Want to get involved but don't know where to start? I can walk you through it. Let's do this!