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Count Me In Surveyor

Jada Photo

Jada is a native of Erie, PA, who graduated from Collegiate Academy in 2017. Always passionate about serving her community, Jada could often be found volunteering in and outside of school, including as an English Language Learner (ELL) tutor and mentor. Following high school, she attended the University of Pittsburgh where she majored in Natural Sciences on the pre-physician assistant track and minored in both Spanish and Music.

During the summer between her sophomore and junior years, she worked for the Count Me In project, an HHF-funded community survey studying the lower east side of Erie. The goal was to help the city and local nonprofits better understand the wants, needs, and aspirations of those who live there. She was an asset to the Count Me In team because of her ability to connect with Spanish-speaking households in the neighborhood.

Upon graduation from the University of Pittsburgh, Jada moved to Spain for a year, teaching English at an elementary school in Madrid. This let her experience life, culture, and community in many different European cities. Inspired by her travels and leveraging the experience she gained with Count Me In, Jada secured a job in community development with Jackson/Clark Partners, the same firm that administered the east side survey in Erie.

She soon realized she had a passion for community-based work. Yearning for more expertise, Jada applied and was accepted into the prestigious urban planning master’s degree program at Harvard University. She is particularly interested in the intersection of health and planning as well as affordable housing. Jada plans to use the education she gains to be an asset for her future community.

From a neighborhood survey to graduate school at Harvard, Jada’s path took an unanticipated turn upon finding her love for community work. A love that – at least in part – was sparked by HHF.