We are excited to announce our newest team member, Jessica Fryman. Jessica joins the Words Alive family as our new Teen Services Program Manager!
As our new Teen Services Program Manager, Jessica will provide direction and leadership for the Adolescent Book Group and the Words Alive Westreich Scholarship Program. Previously, Jessica was a U.S. Peace Corps Volunteer where she trained teachers and developed literacy, leadership, and college readiness programming for youth in the West African country of The Gambia. She also previously taught English as a Second Language in Santiago, Chile. Always passionate about people’s stories, Jessica started her career in the newsroom and earned a bachelor’s degree in Journalism at the University of Nevada.
Now, let's hear from Jessica herself!
What intrigued you about Words Alive?
I was intrigued at how connected Words Alive is to the San Diego community and the way in which everyone from local authors and partnering organizations, donors and board members, staff and volunteers, teachers, families and, of course, students are all committed to collaborating in order to make these programs successful. I find it very powerful that so many people, from such diverse experiences and backgrounds, can all come together to get behind one mission. And I think it is especially compelling for that mission to be using the power of reading to help others help themselves.
What are you most excited about in your new position?
Let’s see … how do I begin to even answer this question succinctly? For starters, I’m excited to be part of a team who introduces students to books that have the potential to not only challenge their way of thinking, but to also help them identify a sense of self as they move into adulthood. I also am looking forward to working with such experienced volunteers who offer so much to the ABG and WAWS programs. I’m eager to learn from them and move forward together as we take these programs to the next level!
What is your relationship with literacy?
Cliché as it may be: Everyone has a story. And for me, literacy has always been about just that – getting to know people and their stories. I loved reading from an early age and I can remember secretly staying up far past my bedtime as a little girl, so I could devour the latest Dear America novel, a series in historical fiction (which, along with memoirs, is still one of my favorite genres today). I eventually transitioned from reading stories to writing them, and earned a bachelor’s in Journalism from the University of Nevada. After some time in the newsroom, I decided to get out there and see the world. I wanted to get my hands dirty and be part of the action, to craft my own personal story instead of always just observing the lives of others, which can be the nature of being a reporter. While abroad, I started working in education and programming where I met a myriad of incredible teachers and students who inspired me to keep giving back, which brings me here! No matter where I’ve gone or what I’ve done, it seems that my love for the written word always finds me in one way or another.
What are you currently reading?
Gather Together in My Name by Maya Angelou
We are so excited to have Jessica on our team! To learn more about our Teen Services Program, click here!
Currently, there are no employment opportunities at Words Alive, but we are ALWAYS recruiting for wonderful volunteers to work in the classrooms with our students and families. Check out how to get involved as a Words Alive volunteer!