Jess completed an internship at FortySeven Main Street, a residential treatment facility for men with chronic mental illness.
Jess, who hails from Sparta, N.J., originally came to GMC to major in sustainable agriculture. After taking psychology classes with professors Jennifer Guinn Sellers and Vance Jackson in the psychology department, her focus shifted.
“Both Vance and Jennifer have been really influential. I took their classes and decided I wanted to work in clinical psychology with a mental illness concentration,” she said. Specifically, Jess is most concerned with societal reactions to mental illness.
These interests and her focus on harm reduction guide her role as a member of the activism floor and activism club. Jess collaborated with fellow student Natalie House on a Delicate Balance project called “Empathy Entwine,” which addresses harm reduction in podcast form. The program also addresses mental health, friendship, and substance abuse issues in a conversational format.
To fulfill her psychology major and gain new insights, Jess completed an internship at FortySeven Main Street in nearby Castleton, Vt., a residential treatment facility for men with chronic mental illness. “I hang out with the guys, do paperwork, and sit in on their counseling sessions which has been an interesting experience,” she said.
“At FortySeven Main they believe the best way to reintegrate people is through working, so they do sugaring, woodworking, and cook their own dinners,” she said. “It’s a community feel and everyone participates in some way.”
Following her graduation in May ‘15, Jess aims to find a job at a psychiatric hospital and suit up in some scrubs. “I hope to use that experience to prepare for graduate school,” she said. “I’m looking into a master’s in counseling or a Ph.D. in clinical psychology.”