jessays is a small blog covering big stuff.
Jessyca Stoepker, a nonprofit communications professional and graduate student, is the sole contributor to jessays. Interests unbound, she writes about lots of "big" stuff: information and media literacy, political instability, mental illness, inequality and injustice, climate change, ethics, and radical compassion. The blog serves as an outlet for academic essays, book reviews, personal opinions, travel and life updates, photography, creative writing, and other projects. The blog was started in 2018, and Jessyca continues to publish content as she is able to, usually every few months.
Jessyca believes that anyone expressing an opinion should have a baseline understanding of the topic and access to supporting facts. She also believes that, while debate is healthy, it does no good to be "right" logically if your argument borders on "wrong" ethically. She does not expect her posts to be revolutionary, but she does hope they spark something in your brain, heart, or deep in your gut.
background, experience, & credentials
Jessyca is a proud Michigan native. She graduated from Grand Valley State University in 2018 with a BA in health communications, writing minor, a certificate of medical humanities, and a certificate of sustainable food systems. She is certified in professional writing by IAPWE and in social media marketing by HubSpot. She's worked in the nonprofit sector for 8 years, including for entities like Spectrum Health System, Mary Free Bed YMCA, Kent County Health Department, Friends of Grand Rapids Parks, and Holland Home Senior Living Community. She moved to Petoskey, Michigan to work for a food bank and food pantry network called Manna Food Project, and after three years she transitioned to a project manager position at Groundwork Center for Resilient Communities. In 2021, she became the founder and lead strategist for a small marketing firm, Mission Control, LLC.
Outside of paid work, she immerses herself in community issues, including public transportation and the built environment, food sovereignty and Land Back for Indigenous Peoples (working with the local Waganakising Odawak), sustainability, and hyper-local politics. She sits on several local boards, including Thrive 45 Young Professionals, the Thriving Petoskey Committee under the chamber of commerce, and United Way of Northwest Michigan. Between these endeavors and online graduate classes - working towards a master's degree in global studies via Fort Hays State University - her calendar is pretty booked. She's online more than she would like to admit, as she enjoys writing and design for fun. Offline, you can usually find her outside on a hike, run, or bike ride, in a thrift store or coffee shop, reading, painting or drawing, or in a vehicle (preferably train) traveling somewhere. Her next bucket-list locations to visit include New Zealand, returning to Iceland, and the Chiang Mai Elephant Sanctuary in Thailand.
For the record, Jessyca is:
a passionate vegan and environmentalist
a cat and plant mom
an intersectional feminist
an activist and advocate for systems change
a trauma survivor
a life-long learner and philosophy nerd
a pineapple-on-pizza and sea slug enthusiast
not a believer of astrology (but for those who are, she's a Pisces)
Jessyca feels privileged to be able to share her thoughts and professional growth with her followers. Thank you for reading, and please comment or contact her with any ideas, suggestions, or critique.