Trekker to Community Leader

Sep. 4, 2022

“Growing up, I had a hard time figuring out where exactly I belonged,” Jalisa shared. “It wasn’t because I was odd or didn’t get along with others; I just never felt like I could be my true self. That was of course before I began going to UrbanPromise.”

In high school, Jalisa was a star student in the classroom, and her teachers would also describe her as a true adventurer. She loves new experiences and would be the first to sign up for EVERY Trekkers trip. From the boat building, biking, paddling, and expeditions from the New Jersey Pine Barrens to the mountains of Colorado, she’s done it all.

Through these experiences, a unique side of Jalisa began to emerge. Jalisa noted, “All the pieces that make me who I am today slowly began coming together.”

“I always wanted to travel and see the world. Urban gave me that opportunity and it opened my worldview. We didn’t just simply go on trips. We learned and had hands-on experience about the places we traveled to,” Jalisa shared.

After graduating from UrbanPromise Academy in 2017, she went on to study at William Paterson University. This past spring, she graduated with a bachelor’s in Integrated Math and Science, a concentration in Environmental Science, and a minor in Legal Studies.

Recently, Jalisa was hired as the Camden Urban Parks Coordinator for the New Jersey Conservation Foundation. In her new role, she gets to engage the Camden community through environmental awareness programs such as biking and water testing programs—all of which she’d learned through UrbanTrekkers.

She still regularly volunteers on expeditions with our Trekkers team, igniting the curiosity of the next generation of Trekkers.

“Thanks to UrbanPromise and UrbanTrekkers I was able to further my education and find my true passion for the environment where I am now able to serve my community the same way they did for me.”