Here is more than you'd ever need to know about me, all in one convenient wall of text. Given the chance, I'd probably tell you every last detail anyway.
My name is Jesse and I was named after my mother's Uncle Jesse. As a 90s kid, I believed I was named after the Uncle Jesse, John Stamos from Full House. I was devastated to learn this was not true.
I grew up outside Washington, D.C. playing all sorts of team sports– soccer, softball, field hockey, swimming and diving, basketball, and so on. I loved not only the energy of sports, but also the tremendous sense of team spirit and the strong bonds with my teammates. Of course, I received the same seasonal trophy every kid got playing rec soccer, but I am proud to say that I earned the Utility Player Award and the Coach's Award in softball for my willingness to “go anywhere needed” and “give it my all.” While I was a mediocre athlete at best, I am still remembered as an enthusiastic and supportive benchwarmer.
Growing up ginger was no easy feat. Of course, I got picked on and called names. I was the only redhead in my entire elementary school, so I really was a freak to the other kids. Every morning on the bus to school, I asked myself, "what makes me special today?" No doubt, it was something pretty trivial, like a new slap bracelet or keeping my Tamigatchi alive for one more day. I learned that people have emotional connections to even the tiniest of details.
After graduating from Winston Churchill High School in 2005, I hit Boston full force to attend Emerson College. From the moment arrived, I knew it was the place for me. I studied Integrated Marketing Communications and minored in Photography and Psychology. In my sophomore year, I spent a semester abroad in Emerson's castle (yes, castle) in the Netherlands and took the opportunity to travel throughout Europe. During my time at Emerson, I often sought out opportunities outside of the classroom, trying my hand at EmComm, Emerson's on-campus marketing firm; EAGLE, Emerson's GSA as the PR chair for one year; and Developed Images, in which I was selected as a photographer for the Headshot Fundraiser.
I visited the Creative Circus after graduating with a Bachelor of Science in 2009. Just like at Emerson, I knew within moments that The Circus would be my place for the next two years. I entered the Art Direction program and dedicated myself to learning as much as I could and putting together a portfolio that would not only get me hired, but would be something I would be truly proud of.
Upon graduating from The Circus, I took a job at Bright Red\TBWA in Tallahassee, Florida. In the smallest place I've ever lived, I discovered an untapped love of the outdoors. Some very perfect days included swimming in natural springs, tubing down rivers, and hiking through some beautiful parks. But alas, my fair ginger skin couldn't take the sun for too long and I packed up once again and headed back north with my cat, Logo.
I drove up the Eastern Seaboard with my cat Logo, stopping in NYC to participate in
Griffin Farley's Beautiful Minds at BBH. Beautiful Minds is a strategy boot camp dedicated to the memory of Griffin Farley. I met and learned from incredible people and enjoyed the opportunity, as a finalist, to present with my team at Google's headquarters.
I continued up to my final destination of Somerville, MA and quickly found my next work-home by tweeting at Relevant 24 in Boston's South End. Creating content with Relevant 24 was incredibly fun and the people I worked with there are extremely talented, but ultimately, I was searching for something more mission driven that aligned with my core beliefs.
After spending some much needed time with family in the summer of 2015, I found my way to the offices of Global Protection Corp. in the Seaport district of Boston. I met with the ONE® Condoms team and very shortly after the interview, contacted them and told them the job was mine and they had to give it to me. I suppose I had always been a bit of a "slacktivist" regarding sexual health education, safer sex, and human rights. Now I have an active role in that area and I find it incredibly rewarding. I had always been hesitant to move from agency life to in-house work, but I am finding that I feel like I'm working hard to make a difference in the world and I think that, at least for now, that's what I've been looking for all along.
In 2016, I began classes at Improv Asylum in Boston's Historic North End. Improv training has strengthened my ability to think quickly on my feet and really listen in a totally new way. I've never been one to shy away from a crowd or a chance to speak, but I may never get used to the wonder and horrible anxiety that standing under stage lights produces. Sometimes you can find me as a member of the House Teams show on Monday nights (not right now though).
In early 2017, I was invited to sell my wares at an Activist Art Market. All of the vendors donated a portion of their proceeds to local organizations. I benefitted BAGLY, "a youth-led, adult-supported social support organization committed to social justice, and creating, sustaining and advocating for programs, policies and services for the LGBTQ youth community." It was that day that I decided to start Casualigraphy and attend fleas and art markets around the Somerville/Boston area. It has been a pleasure getting out and meeting all kinds of people and talking to all of the strangers… and making a little extra money doesn't suck either.