My name is Jessica Rothenberg and I’m from Richmond, VA. I’m Mental Fitness's AmeriCorps*VISTA and Outreach Coordinator. I attended West Virginia University for two and a half years and joined Pi Beta Phi Fraternity for Women while there. I then transferred home to get my Associates Degree and finished with a Bachelor of Science from Old Dominion University. I majored in Psychology and minored in Criminal Justice. Ultimately, I hope to work for a government agency to help protect our country and to use my skills in criminal justice and psychology to improve the human condition. I chose to work for the AmeriCorps program this year because I wanted to have a year of government service under my belt.
During my studies at Old Dominion, not only did I focus on criminal justice and criminal behavior, I also became passionate about childhood development. I have volunteered at St. Joseph’s Villa where I was a mentor for troubled youth. I also helped facilitate and coordinated a Military Career Day where the kids realized they could do something incredible with their lives, even with a troubled past. I am particularly passionate about working with children who have disabilities -- I have faced many challenges throughout my life, and I want to share my experiences with people in hopes that it will help people open up and find hope. While working with Mental Fitness I will be focusing on community outreach and expanding Mental Fitness’ mission throughout the schools in Spartanburg.
I am really passionate about the arts – having been a dancer and singer throughout my life, so I look forward to creating and directing the “Spartanburg’s Got Talent” gala fundraiser for Mental Fitness. Mostly, I am passionate about Mental Fitness’s mission of building resiliency in all youth. I know some people who have lost their battle with mental health disorders and who struggled in silence. These reasons drew me to Mental Fitness and its mission of reaching children at early ages so we can prevent unnecessary suffering and loss. I hope to expand the mission of Mental Fitness into my hometown and reach more children and families with our messages of prevention, hope and healing.