Jessie's Story

In the spring of 2016, Jessie went to Iraqi Kurdistan to work for Hear the Cry, a nonprofit that works with indigenous leaders in compassion and justice causes around the world. In Iraq, she met the Rays and the Buxtons of The Refuge Initiative (TRI), a division of World Orphans that was launched in response to the humanitarian crisis stemming from ISIS advances in Northern Iraq and Syria. TRI builds communities of hope for the displaced by providing not only homes, but wholistic care.

Jessie has a Bachelor of Arts degree in art with a concentration in digital media and photography from Georgia College & State University. In 2012 and 2016 she attended the Aegean Center for the Fine Arts in Paros, Greece, for a schooling and residency program in photography.

Prior to Iraq Jessie worked ten years as a freelance photographer, writer, graphic designer, interior designer, and illustrator of three children's books. She also oversaw public relations and graphic design for a local Atlanta restaurant. The last two years she has focused primarily on photojournalism and writing.

In May 2017, Jessie returned to Iraq with a more comprehensive role as the Communications Director of TRI. She is responsible for managing the organization’s content creation—including photography and writing, and communication strategies on social media and the website. She also serves as the key spokesperson and media contact.

TRI is the perfect merger—the place where Jessie’s humanitarian heart for the hurting and the displaced meets her knack for visual content and communication.

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