High school counselor Jessica Redmond ’13 gives back every day through her chosen career.
Her own high school counselor encouraged Jessica to apply to UNC-Chapel Hill, but with two siblings already in college, she wasn’t sure her family could afford the tuition. Her counselor helped her apply for aid, and Jessica received the Carolina Covenant Scholarship.
“That really helped me and my family, not to have that financial burden,” Jessica shared.
Jessica’s high school counselor had an influence on her career path, as well. She majored in psychology and immediately began giving back by signing up for the Carolina College Advising Corps.
Since 2007, CCAC has placed UNC-Chapel Hill graduates in public schools in rural and underserved areas of the state to serve as college advisers. By assisting students with admission, financial aid and scholarship applications, the program aims to increase enrollment rates to post-secondary institutions.
Jessica was placed in a rural area near her hometown, where she helped students view college as a viable option.
“I knew that when I graduated I wanted to be in a position where I could give back to others to aid them in that transition, so that some of the things that I had to go through, other people wouldn’t have to go through,” she noted.
After two years serving in CCAC, Jessica went back to school and obtained dual master’s degrees in counseling and career counseling from North Carolina Central University. She is now a counselor at Jordan High School in Durham, North Carolina, where she continues to help students realize their college potential.
“It has been a life-goal of mine to keep giving back to people so that they have even greater opportunities than I have had,” said Jessica.
Many of the students Jessica advises will be first-generation college students — some are the first in their families to graduate high school. Jessica encourages her students to apply to college and walks them through the financial aid process.
Her Carolina Covenant experience has come full-circle — two of her former students enrolled at UNC-Chapel Hill in fall 2019, thanks to the Carolina Covenant’s debt-free opportunity.