Our alumni spotlight series highlights stories from Jumpstart Corps members, as they reflect on their time with Jumpstart and discuss how the experience has served them in their current careers. Do you have a story to share? Want to make sure that you don’t miss any important stories or news for alumni? Join the Jumpstart Alumni Network to connect with fellow alum, stay connected to Jumpstart, and find new ways to stay involved in early education.
When Gina first joined Jumpstart, she was at a crossroads about her future, and had no idea that Jumpstart would fundamentally shift her path. “What was before an unfocused love of teaching,” says Gina, “became a passionate commitment to fight for educational change and equity. Jumpstart became the experience that I have circled back to ever since.” Gina’s experience serving with Jumpstart inspired an undergraduate thesis on racial awareness and perceptions in preschoolers, and was the subject of her application essay for a Fulbright fellowship. She went on to win that fellowship, serving as an English Teaching Assistant at UC Irvine.
“[T]he US is now at a crossroads for education, and Jumpstart is a guiding force in the right direction.”
Today, Gina is a kindergarten teacher in an underserved area of Los Angeles, and still looks back on her time with Jumpstart as transformative: “For my Jumpstart children, their time in preschool was also a crossroads; it was a time and place for them to explore and grow and begin to define who they were and who they would become, and Jumpstart provided the space and the support to allow them to develop… And, from the broadest perspective, the US is now at a crossroads for education, and Jumpstart is a guiding force in the right direction — a promise of a future in which every student, regardless of their circumstances, is prepared to succeed.”