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Characters Unite Award Winners

Jessica Estevez


Jessica Estevez is the Director of Programs for the St. Petersburg-based Community Tampa Bay, which works with individuals, groups and organizations to create an inclusive society strengthened and empowered by its diversity. In her position, Jessica develops and manages leadership and diversity education programs designed to empower high school students with knowledge and tools to help them combat social injustice. By influencing attitudes and behaviors through their initiatives in the areas of education, advocacy and conflict mediation, Community Tampa Bay strives toward its goal of promoting dialogue and respect among all cultures, religions and races.

Born in New York and raised in the Dominican Republic, Jessica has spent much of her professional career working to promote diversity, tolerance and acceptance. Previously, she served as an academic coordinator for the University of South Florida’s GEAR UP program (Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs). Prior to moving to Florida, she was the Director of Multicultural and Cross-Cultural Programs at Greenville College, where she developed, coordinated and monitored the cross-cultural academic curriculum.

Jessica’s international interests have also motivated her to launch and oversee special programs that serve internationals and other ethnic minorities. One such program is MI ALANA, a pre-college orientation for third culture kids, internationals, and students with African, Latino, Asian and Native American backgrounds.

Jessica is a graduate of Council for Christian Colleges and Universities (CCCU) Leadership Development Institute and a participant at the United States Hispanic Leadership Institute in Illinois. Additionally, she is a certified trainer for the Points of Light Foundation, Prudential Youth Leadership Institute and Youth on Board. Jessica has also obtained certificates of achievement and training Damascus Road Anti-Racism Process, an antiracism training and skill development program, and she is a certified strength coach for the Gallup School of Management.

Early in her career, Jessica worked for the Center for Venture in Girls’ Education, the Lawrence Youth Commission, and the Lawrence Teen Coalition in Lawrence, Massachusetts, as team, literacy and outreach leader. She also served as a consultant with Tufts Community Health Plan of Waltham, Massachusetts as well as the Community Initiatives Director for the United Way of Merrimack Valley.

Jessica holds a Masters of Management from Brandeis University and a Bachelors of Arts & Science from Mount Holyoke College. She resides in Riverview, FL, with her husband Edwin and their two children, Taína & Natalia.

Jessica Estevez