Alumni Stories

2013 marks Jumpstart's 10th Anniversary at the University of Washington! We are excited to celebrate this point in our history and look forward to connecting college students with preschool children to develop their language and literacy skills for years to come!
To celebrate our anniversary, we have reached out to our alumni, supporters, staff and teachers to hear what makes Jumpstart so special. Take a moment to read about the experiences, lessons and memories that have helped make Jumpstart a great place to work, start your career and inspire positive change in our community!

Gloria Johnston

Gloria Johnston (center) with her Team at and Earth Day Celebration.

I got involved with Jumpstart as a sophomore in 2004. I was hired as a Team leader and worked at Denise Louie Education Center in the International District and Beacon Hill for 3 years. As an undergrad, Jumpstart gave me a community to belong to. You couldn’t miss those bright blue shirts all over campus;… [Continue Reading]

Ariana Westbrook

Ariana SP Cele

I joined Jumpstart because of my love for children and interest in teaching. I knew this program would give me the experience I needed to become an effective teacher, but I wasn’t expecting to be introduced to the vast possibilities of potential careers within the education system. Jumpstart trains its corps members for successful careers in child psychology, social services, early childhood curriculum… [Continue Reading]

Alisa Torres


“Wow, congratulations Jumpstart.  I don’t think this would be possible without people like you, Daniel, and Sarah doing all you do. My role is with Jumpstart began in 2010 as a team leader.  One of my earliest memories of the Jumpstart program is beginning to build new found friendships with other team leaders and my… [Continue Reading]

Kelly Fong


“I initially became involved with Jumpstart my freshman year of college as a Corps Member at DLEC in the International District and subsequently became a Team Leader. Some of my best memories are getting to be silly! Basically I could act like a kid and not get weird stares. Ha-ha!  I think Jumpstart allowed me to… [Continue Reading]

Nghia Nguyen

Nghia in the Denise Louie International District Full Day Classroom.

“What began as a volunteering opportunity turned into a series of unexpected results. With the help of Jumpstart, I discovered my true passion to become a teacher. As a result I made changes to my major to achieve my goal of becoming an educator and working as a Head Start preschool teacher. Upon graduating, as… [Continue Reading]

Debby Le

Debby at Denise Louie International District preschool

“I got involved with Jumpstart my senior year of school in the 2006-2007 school year as a Corp Member at Denise Louie Education Center in the International District. When I was a member of Jumpstart things were just getting organized, the union on campus was pushing for higher pay and more training for members before… [Continue Reading]

Gedion Yitref


“It was freshman year in college and I was trying to find my niche. In an act of desperation, I put my email address on over eight different listserves. As a result, my inbox was flooded with emails I was unwilling to open. But no matter how many times I tried deleting the Jumpstart recruitment… [Continue Reading]

Ruby Linsao


“When Jumpstart first launched at the University of Washington during the Fall of 2003 there were less than 20 undergraduates working in a handful of Head Start classrooms.  It is exciting to see how the program has continued to grow both on campus and in the Seattle community!  I feel grateful to have been one… [Continue Reading]

Bethany DeTurk


“My participation with Jumpstart was one of my fondest memories from college. During my two years of volunteering with Jumpstart, the children that I worked with touched my heart and showed me the true meaning of joy. I will never forget the day that I brought my pet rabbit, Pippin, to our classroom.  The children… [Continue Reading]

Jennifer Nguyen

Jennifer Nguyen with our National Team and other Jumpstart Alumni

Jennifer did just about every job you could with Jumpstart. She served as a corps member, team leader and volunteer coordinator during the four years she attended the University of Washington. As wonderful as she was helping in our office, Jennifer was amazing in the classroom as well and formed a close bond with a… [Continue Reading]

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