“As a UWC alumna I am passionate about the importance of global education in uniting young people and inspiring them to become agents of positive change. I am thrilled to be working for an organization that provides refugees with similar transformational education that I had access to.”
Having spent the majority of her life in Asia and South America, Jessica has seen first hand what positive engagement and education can bring to young refugees and their communities. Her international upbringing and education at UWC South East Asia, where a dedication to helping those in need is a core part of the school ethos, has really shaped who Jessica is today and has led her to a career in the development sector.
While working as a writer in Medellin, Colombia, Jessica found herself closely reporting on and engaging in the huge influx of refugees and migrants arriving into the country from Venezuela. “Living in Medellin was probably the first time in my life that I had seen such a huge wave of people fleeing their country. It frustrated me how little was being done to support or shelter these people, often families with young children, but also by the lack of news coverage or media attention the crisis was receiving.” This inspired Jessica to launch a CSR wing at her company where they ran free PR and media campaigns for local NGOs in Medellin that were directly helping refugees and marginalised communities.
Wanting to dedicate more of her time to supporting refugees around the world Jessica went to volunteer with Echo100Plus, a language and community centre for adult refugees in Leros, Greece. “My time in Leros really opened my eyes to how important education and learning is to refugees. At the Echo hub we were able to provide meaningful educational activities and workshops away from the camp. Seeing how enthusiastic and eager these people were to learn and practice new skills every day just shows how education can not only harness future possibilities but provide an escape from camp life and uncertainty.”
To broaden her knowledge on refugees and forced migration Jessica has just started an MSc in Migration and Development at SOAS University of London. She is thrilled to be able to continue her passion in working with refugees at Sky School as Programme Assistant.