Post Classifieds

A Cause Worth Fighting for

By Colleen Newell
On December 5, 2012

Twenty-year-old Jessica Murray is not your typical student. Jessica has her own program, "Teach to Reach",which focuses primarily on how men and women are portrayed in our popular media outlets. It all started when Jessica went through the "Mentors in Violence Prevention" program for two years. In high school, as the only female in her vocational carpentry program, Jessica faced much adversity.
As a female carpenter, she had individuals refuse to work with her solely on the basis of her gender. The mentor program gave her a chance to learn strategies for dealing with the unfairness of the sexist treatment that continues even in today's forward thinking society, and instilled in Jessica a determination to be an advocate for people like herself. She personally met the president of "Mentors in Violence Prevention". In fact, Jessica's performance while in the mentor program was so exemplary that she was invited to a nationally recognized awards ceremony at Northeastern University, where she won the Fitz Giving Back Award.
Jessica started her "Teach to Reach" program in 2009, but due to her schedule as a full time student, it's still getting up on its feet, so to speak. Last year, as part of her honors project in the Ethics Honors class, Jessica focused her whole project on violence against women, and put together in a brochure a list of resources which students can go to for help.
Her materials include some very shocking statistics about the realities of violence, drug and alcohol abuse, and other serious issues facing our youths. "Teach to Reach" has been welcomed into a number of churches in the Weymouth area in conjunction with another non-profit group, "Home of the Phoenix", as well as classrooms. Jessica finds classes to teach through guidance counselors, and during her sessions, she gives her presentation, and students are free to ask any questions they have, while the counselor supervises from the back of the room. Jessica is a currently in the Liberal Arts Transfer program, but plans to become a secondary education teacher.
She is currently applying for 401c3 not-for profit organization license, and is eagerly working on her studies so that she can gain the credentials needed to further her efforts. Jessica has also met with our own Dean Maureen Thayer, and is in the process of organizing a session here to reach out to her fellow peers at Massasoit.

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