Hello everyone! If we haven’t had the pleasure of meeting, my name is Jessie Punch and I have been fortunate enough to spend the past few months working as the Coordinator/Administrative Assistant for the Women’s Fund. I graduated from Clemson University in May, and if you had asked me back in the spring what I would be doing with my summer months, working for a nonprofit in Knoxville would not have even been on my radar. Having graduated with a degree in Communications with a specific focus interest in sports media, the idea of nonprofit work was not something I felt would cross my path. But I can’t even begin to tell you how thankful I am that it did. My desire to have a career in sports and media has pushed me to work a lot of different jobs and internships. All of which obviously had a very similar theme, and were very rewarding in helping me build the skills I needed to one day be successful. But the work I have done for the Women’s Fund, even in just the short amount of time I was here, has taught me so much about life, people, and even myself in a way that none of my previous jobs ever did.
Being a 22 year old girl, I feel that I have a pretty good awareness of the struggles and issues that face women and girls today. But working for the Women’s Fund opened my eyes to these issues in a complete different way. Learning more about the hardships that many low-income women and girls have to face and also different prominent issues such as human trafficking and sexual assault really gave me a perspective on the world and even my own life. Having the opportunity to see the impact and changes that the Women’s Fund is able to make in the lives of so many gave me such an appreciation for this organization. But not only that, being able to work alongside such intelligent and empowering women as those involved in the Women’s Fund board and committees instilled a confidence in myself that grew through watching each of these ladies in their hard work. It is the type of appreciation and confidence that makes me think daily just how proud I am to be a woman.
Overall, I couldn’t have imagined a more rewarding way to spend my summer. I now have such a deep love and connection to women around me that will stick with me on whatever journey in life comes next. I have been granted a confidence that has prepared me so well to enter any opportunity, job related or not. And I have developed a loyalty to this organization that I plan to carry on into the future. Thank you to all of the women who have worked with me this summer and thank you to the Women’s Fund for granting me this unforgettable opportunity.