Jesse Ellis, Class of 2008

After graduating from Trekkers in 2008, Jesse got her Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from Elmira College in upstate New York in 2012. During her time at Elmira College, she worked for many offices on campus, including the Office of the President and the Office of Development.

Currently, Jesse is a graduate student at Gallaudet University in Washington, D.C., getting her Masters in Social Work with a concentration in Deaf and Hard of Hearing populations. All of her classes are in American Sign Language, as the campus is a voice-off/hands-on campus. She participated in an internship with Iona Senior Services, where she helped DC’s elderly navigate the end of life decision and changes. She also is a therapeutic caretaker for a child who has had a very difficult past, helping him develop coping techniques and social skills.

Jesse graduated in May 2015 after an externship working with deaf children and their hearing parents in the field of transitional therapy, helping the parents and children navigate deaf culture, the options of technology, and the adjustment that is made with their hearing loss. But, trying to hold onto the “Here and Now” teachings of Trekkers, the rest is yet to be written. Her thoughts on the Trekkers experience:

“Trekkers has taught me many things – to find happiness within, to find peace with my past, and that it’s okay to ask for help. Trekkers opened my eyes to the world outside of our small fishing community and this influenced me greatly. I had the confidence to branch out and move into the Deaf and Hard of Hearing culture. Being a minority within the population would have not been possible if I had not learned about many other cultures through my travels with Trekkers. I would definitely not be on the path that I am on. Trekkers was the foundation for my ability to dream big and follow through.”