Board Member Spotlight: Meet Jessica!

Jessica NoelJessica Noel, YNPNsd Board Secretary

Jessica is a youth and community advocate and returned to San Diego, CA after earning her Master of Public Policy from UCLA in 2017. Over the past several years Jessica has served in a variety of analytical roles in the nonprofit sector related to health, education, and economic security. Focused on equity and data-driven impact, her portfolio includes experience in program development, community partnerships, grants, strategic planning, research, advocacy, and evaluation.

Jessica currently serves as a Research Analyst at Southwestern Community College District in the South Bay. In this role, she evaluates current and potential college programs, analyzes and conducts labor market research for career education programs, and works with a team of researchers to plan, design and conduct a comprehensive institutional research program.

In addition to her leadership with YNPN San Diego, Jessica was selected for the 2019 YPC Academy, a program of the San Diego LGBT Center, to develop her leadership skills and advance LGBT equity in the region. In her free time, she spends time with her partner, plays with her anxious rescue dog, and makes jewelry as a creative outlet. Jessica is excited to join the executive committee of the YNPN San Diego Advisory Board after serving as the 2018 Programming Co-Chair.

Now let's hear directly from Jessica!

What made you want to join the YNPN board? 

I joined the YNPNsd network when returned to San Diego after finishing graduate school. I was looking for ways to reengage with the social sector and a board member at the time (shout out to Brooke Haggerty!) asked me to join the professional development committee. After I helped plan a panel on issues of equity, diversity, and inclusion, I was hooked! Joining the board in 2018 felt like a natural next step in my leadership development.

San Diego is a very small, big county and I really believe that inclusive leadership and representation matters. As a YNPNsd board member, I have had the opportunity to help build an infrastructure that grows a strong network of social justice leaders. We have a great new team of advisory board members this year and I'm so excited to see what YNPNsd will do in the future.

What is the weirdest/most odd job you had before joining the nonprofit sector? 

One summer during college I was an intern with United Way of San Diego County, but I needed something to help me pay the bills! I interned 2 - 3 days a week and worked as a demo person (I referred to myself as a "sample lady") at Costco for the other 4 days of the week. My parents both work at Costco so it was fun to have them stop by and grab snacks during their breaks. I did not, however, appreciate it when my mom tried to clean up my station while I was working.

All joking aside, my summer job at Costco humbled me to the hard work my parents have done for 20+ years and truly helped me understand that there is dignity in all work. So remember, next time you head into Costco for free samples, make sure you say thank you!

A fact about me that surprises people is... 

I only like to watch documentaries and reality TV. Nothing in between.

Thank you, Jessica, for all you’ve done for YNPNsd! Learn more about our Advisory Board here!