Meet the Interns

Jessa Gagarin

Spring 2019 Intern

Hi! My name is Jessa Gagarin, and I am a senior psychology major at Dominican University of California. I am currently interning with Ambassadors of Hope and Opportunity to gain more experience working in the nonprofit sector and to gain more experience working with youth. I am interested in starting my own nonprofit one day, so it is a great pleasure being able to work directly with the founder and executive director.

I grew up in Santa Clara, California, with my 5 siblings, a few dogs, and many cousins. I come from a big family and have learned a lot from them, in fact much of who I am today has been influenced by them. One of the most important pieces of advice I received from them is to stay true to who I am and create my own path in life. Most of them have a career in the tech industry, or something related, which isn’t what I want to do. However, most of my interests and hobbies are still influenced by them, such as music, art, exercising, being surrounded by nature, playing board games, and spending time with friends and family.

I plan on pursuing a career in, or related to, counseling psychology. Due to experiencing my own mental health struggles, I feel strongly about helping others in similar situations. There is still so much stigma around mental illness and it makes it more difficult to reach out to even the people closest to you, which is an issue that must be addressed. Although I am not completely sure what path I want to go down, I do know I want to work in something related to the prevention of poor mental health particularly among youth and young adults. I enjoy working with children and adolescents, as most of my work experience involves working as a daycare assistant, teacher, or volunteering at a science camp. I am hoping I am able to make a difference with AHO and leave an impact with them because they are surely leaving an impact with me.