Jess is the staff education reporter for WWNO in New Orleans. She has five years of experience working as a journalist and radio reporter/producer, in addition to a master’s degree in journalism and mass communication from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Before joining WWNO, Jess worked as the Fletcher Fellow for Education Policy Reporting at North Carolina Public Radio – WUNC. Her work has aired on national shows, including NPR’s Morning Edition, All Things Considered, and Here & Now from WBUR. In her work as an education reporter, Jess has told many stories about the work students, parents and educators are doing to overcome systemic challenges and inequities.
Project Description: New Orleans is known for its music, food, and culture, but also for its violence. Our children are losing their family members, neighbors and friends at an alarming rate, yet in mainstream media, the stories of those lost to violence are largely told within the context of their deaths. Jess and her partner, Eve Abrams, will train and mentor a group of young people from George Washington Carver High School to create audio stories of people who have been lost to violence — not the stories of their deaths, but of their lived lives and their spirits.