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A True Leader

Posted by Stephanie Rogers on April 29, 2015 in Alumni & Friends, News

By Emma Geldart

Some people are born natural leaders. Jessica Fogarty (Class of 2015) is one of these people.

For her leadership and community service, Jessica was recently awarded the 2015 Community Service Impact Award as well as the 2015 Phillip Stead Memorial Excellence in Student Leadership Award at Dalhousie University's Faculty of Agriculture in Truro, NS.

The Community Service Student Leadership Impact Award recognizes an individual who has demonstrated their community spirit by volunteering regularly and whole-heartedly. The recipient will have maintained community connections and held a great reputation and pride in the work that they do.

Jessica made an impact on the Agricultural Campus through her genuine interest and the value she places on community service.  She has a great love for sharing her knowledge in agriculture and sustainable organic practice.

Jessica is known for filling in for musicians at local events, volunteering in the Community Garden, promoting the Seed Library, serving food at local fundraisers and making posters for campus committees. She has also worked towards increasing the awareness of student entrepreneurship, attended meetings to support her AC community and always offers leadership to those who are beginning work of their own; Jessica is always the first to step up and lead the way.

“Being actively involved in my community gives me a kind of energy that I don't get from anywhere else,” Jessica explains. “It helps me connect with people I may not have ever met, and I like to meet new people. Most of all I find it rewarding to give without expecting anything in return.”

Jessica was also the recipient of the 2015 Phillip Stead Memorial Excellence in Student Leadership Award. This bursary is awarded to a student in the Faculty of Agriculture who demonstrates a love for agriculture and outstanding leadership on the Agricultural Campus and within the community.

Jessica is dedicated to many different initiatives at the Faculty of Agriculture. She volunteered at the Truro Multicultural Festival in support of humanitarian work in Guatemala, did promotional work and volunteered at the 2014 ACORN conference and is an active volunteer with Agricultural Literacy Week. She was also Pub Manager, Community Garden Honorarium Chair and DSU Agricultural Representative where she was a representative of the Agricultural Campus at Student Union Meetings on the main campus in Halifax. Her excessive amount of volunteer hours make her more than deserving of both of the awards.

“There are so many wonderful people at Dal AC that do great things every day,” Jessica explains. “Our campus is buzzing with innovation and initiative and I am simply flattered that someone thought of me enough to nominate me for these awards.”

Originally from Sydney, Nova Scotia, Jessica has a passion for native plants. She is studying Plant Science Technology at the Faculty of Ag.

“I always knew I wanted to live a sustainable life in a rural community but I didn't have a clear picture of how that was going to happen,” Jessica explains. “The plant science course was a foot in the door.”

With graduation just around the corner, Jessica hopes to be able to stay in Nova Scotia. She will continue to work as at Ecocert Canada as an Organic Inspector but would eventually like to move home to Cape Breton.

“I'm passionate about native plants,” Jessica says. “I feel that it is important to start considering food that grows here naturally, without any special treatment and I want to utilize my education combined with my passion for native plants to contribute to improving Cape Breton's Economy.”

For Jessica, her volunteer hours simply gave her a sense of satisfaction. She finds it rewarding in itself to help others and lead the way for others. She didn’t expect anything in return and that’s what makes her a true leader.