Jennifer Wess, a sophomore at Nazareth College, personifies what it means to be civically engaged. Jenny is a student leader active in the College's Partners for Serving program, an innovative co-curricular service program that focuses on poverty reduction, education, and community empowerment by building partnerships with schools, education centers, and human service organizations. Jenny is a valued contributor to Rochester's efforts to reduce the number of individuals experiencing homelessness, in particular the youngest of our community who are living in extreme poverty. For the past two years, Jenny has worked closely with after school programs and transitional homes such as Sojourner House and Community Place to promote education and a positive mental health for youth. Jenny is committed to social change and to looking at the root causes of poverty. In addition to her work with youth in area homeless and transition homes, Jenny is also committed to creating and participating in dialogue with other youth around issues of race, power, and privilege. She is a passionate, dedicated woman who is committed to working toward positive change in our local and global communities. I am confident that Jenny will continue to make a positive impact in Rochester and beyond.
My involvement in the community of Rochester through Nazareth College's Center for Civic Engagement has been the highlight of my academic experience. Being nominated for the Newman Civic Fellowship award is another way in which I can advocate for children in poverty. My education as a Social Work major has increased my understanding of major social issues such as poverty, homelessness, and mental health. I have become a mentor, an advocate, and a friend to many in my community knowing that the smallest of actions can make a difference. I have loved the work that I have accomplished so far at Nazareth College and look forward to furthering my academic education as well as my knowledge of social justice and civic engagement. Although many have worked hard to shed light and eradicate major social issues, there is still much more work that needs to be done.