Jessica Guadarrama attended Sedona Charter School from its very beginning all the way through 8th grade in 2004. The small-school community resonated with her, and to this day, she is drawn to organizations and towns that foster a close-knit community. She has found this in her current home in Boston, MA and in her workplace, a start-up called Placester.
Placester helps real estate professionals market their listings online. Jessica works in customer support, and reports that the job is teaching her a lot about business as well as communication. In her free time, this Sedona native is enjoying life in Boston.
“I started college at NAU (Northern Arizona University), but I wanted to do something different. I got accepted to Boston University (BU) and transferred there during my sophomore year,” she says. “I like Boston because it is a great city for walking. I don’t even own a car. There’s something to do every day, and there’s so much history. A lot of the residential areas, such as the one I live in, have a really strong sense of community.”
She earned a Bachelor’s degree in International Relations at BU. After college she worked for a non-profit café and found herself drawn to organizations that address the issue of food insecurity. “I would love to eventually work in that field, or even start a company that addresses food insecurity,” says Jessica.
Looking back on years at Sedona Charter School, Jessica says it had more academic rigor than she realized at the time. “I thought I was behind the students from other schools, but in high school I ended up helping older students with math. When I went to college, my papers got good grades, and I think it is because of the foundation I got at Charter.” Her writing and language skills also helped her succeed as a slam poet.
In her senior year of high school, Jessica earned a coveted spot on the Flagstaff slam team, and competed in a national poetry slam in Madison Wisconsin. There were only a couple of other high-schoolers in the whole event,” she says. “I still keep in touch with people from that event. It was really exciting to mix with people of all different ages from all over the country, who all had this passion for poetry.”