Young Alumna Award

Jessica R. Harris graduated from Trinity High School in 2005 and went on to receive a Bachelor Degree in Psychology with a minor in Spanish at Spelman College in Atlanta. In 2011 she earned a Master of Social Work Degree with a specialization in Management from Washington University in St. Louis.

Jessica is the Manager of Institutional Relations at The Cara Program, a Chicago-based workforce development agency whose mission is to assist the homeless and at-risk population in their efforts to return to a life of self-sufficiency and achievement, by providing job readiness training and permanent job placement to participants who successfully complete the program. She manages a two million dollar portfolio of local and national foundation and corporate partners for this very worthy not-for-profit. As The Cara Program celebrates its 25th anniversary this year, Jessica has led a fundraising campaign to help commemorate the milestone, and to date has raised over $200,000 in additional sponsorships.

Before joining The Cara Program, Jessica interned with the former Executive Director of the Prevail Program (formerly the Oak Park River Forest Area Walk-In Ministry). Jessica has also worked in the development capacity in both Chicago and St. Louis-area organizations. She is a member of the Association of Fundraising Professionals through which she completed the Chicago Fellows Program in 2014.

In her spare time she serves as the Recording Secretary for the Chicago Chapter of the National Alumnae Association of Spelman.