Big Rapids, Jessie Black

Though a native of Milford, Connecticut, Jessie is a self-proclaimed Michigander after moving to the state to complete her Bachelors of Social Work at Central Michigan University in 2015.

Since then, she has been recognized by the National Association of Social Workers-Michigan Chapter as one of their Social Work Students of The Year, served a Governor appointed position on a statewide Juvenile Justice initiative, and organized the youth vote in the state during the 2020 election year.

Jessie started her career with the local homeless shelter in Mount Pleasant, Michigan. A volunteer turned intern, then staff member with the organization, Jessie has a plethora of experience working with individuals who are experiencing homelessness and navigating a housing market in a college town. While working with this organization, she was faced with barriers to accessing resources for guests and policy roadblocks that kept people trapped in the cycle of poverty. Ultimately this led Jessie to pursue her Masters of Social Work with a concentration in Policy Practice at the University of Connecticut.

Since graduating with her MSW in 2020, she has managed a program to help train over 250 social workers across the country to become more politically active as a candidate, staff, volunteer, and/or advocate for social change.