Author: Max Gaines
Jessica King, C’15, calls herself “a child of public school.” King was admitted to the University of Pennsylvania as an early-decision applicant. She received a “healthy” federal grant package including a work-study program award. Now a junior communications major with a specialization in civic communication, King has held jobs in the Community School Student Partnerships program of Penn’s Netter Center for Community Partnerships since her freshman year.
“I was a mentor in the classroom at Lea Elementary School. I worked in an autism special needs class,” King says. “During the day, I worked one-on-one with individual students and as an after-school counselor.”
She found the mentoring work so fulfilling that she stayed with the program. In her sophomore year she rose to a senior staff position as director of CSSP at Lea site in West Philadelphia where 30 mentors serve 10-15 classes.
“Today, I oversee a board of 16. The CSSP organization as a whole has 300 mentors through the work-study program at five elementary and high school sites,” she says. Despite enjoying her work in the traditional public school arena and years of attending conventional public schools in Boca Raton, Fla., where she grew up, her dream job is to work as a principal of a charter school.