Director of Development
Jessa began her time with the AYF in 1992 as a Miniwanca camper. It was a family endeavor – her father, Jeff, was a year-round program director, and her mom, Barb, was the camp nurse. A gaggle of siblings were also present throughout the summer. As she aged out of program, Jessa transitioned to seasonal staff as a leader, waterfront staff, and member of the Adventure Team for ILC/NLC. Today, Jessa is the Director of Development and spearheads fundraising and engagement for the organization, including the upcoming centennial celebration.
Jessa earned her interdisciplinary bachelor’s from the University of Missouri with an emphasis in women’s and gender studies, and her master’s in social work from the University of Texas at Austin. She co-founded the YMCA of the USA’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Camp Working Group while working at Camp Pendalouan in Michigan. Passionate about disability rights, Jessa developed a statewide volunteer program for a disability service provider and was instrumental in the self-determination and empowerment of disability rights advocates. Jessa’s career with other nonprofits has focused on youth and families; coming home to the AYF is full circle.
Jessa refers to her time at camp as “turbo grow,” celebrating and sustaining the amount of personal and communal growth in such a short time. She is thrilled to work for the AYF again and excited for what the future will bring. She’s always up for hearing camp stories – and might have a few of her own!