Jess applied to Guilford because her best friend, Sarah, who was attending High Point University was convinced she’d love the school. Sarah was right. Jess majored in both Sociology and Anthropology and Art with a minor in Religious Studies.
“I knew what pushed me to question, observe, learn, and be better. That was art — creating, observing, and critiquing. Becoming humble enough to accept critiques of my work, too,” she says. “That was also Sociology — learning how to observe what we take for granted and learn from others without judgement. And that was religion — empathizing with others by listening to their beliefs and world view, while learning about my own.”
Today, Jess is much closer to answering her dad’s question. She is a FoodCorps AmeriCorps Service member for the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians on their tribal land in Western North Carolina. Her duties include working with children through hands-on nutrition lessons, cooking classes, and garden visits.
“I get kids as excited as possible about eating fruits and veggies,” Jess says. “My favorite part of my job is taking students to the school garden and watching them delight in pulling out carrots and eating them right there, dirt and all. The compassion and curiosity children show their garden world is the most authentic form of hope, excitement, and love I have ever seen.”