We’re putting the spotlight on Jessica Peters. Jessica is a social entrepreneur and recipient of the prestigious TD Scholarships for Community Leadership. As a Commerce student at Queen’s University, she hosts social finance workshops for the school’s Centre for Social Impact, initiated the Hult Prize, and is involved in various other social entrepreneurship initiatives.
We caught up with Jessica to find out what inspires her work, and what advice she would share with other young professionals…
On Her Background
Where are you from, originally?
Where do you currently attend school?
Queen’s University for the Commerce program
What does “SheShines” mean to you?
SheShines highlights the accomplishments and contributions of young women. It inspires women to strive toward their dreams and work hard to achieve them.
How would you describe yourself in under 140 characters?
I’m a passionate, fun-loving 21-year-old who enjoys spending time with my family and friends, meeting new people, traveling, and a good book!
What do you enjoy the most about the program you’re taking?
My peers, who I am surrounded by every day, support and push one another to become our best selves. Each person is so ambitious and motivated, it really inspires me to work hard and do my best in everything I do, regardless of the outcome.
What keeps you busy outside of school?
I get involved with many extracurricular activities. This past year I was involved with QACE, Canada’s leading student-led entrepreneurship conference. I am a Student Ambassador for our business school’s Centre for Social Impact, and I started a Social Finance workshop featuring Social Return on Investment Analysis. I also volunteer with Enactus through Project Fresh Start, where I lead business workshops in minimum security jails within the Kingston, Ontario community.
What accomplishments or activities are you most proud of?
I’m most proud of my entrepreneurial ventures; Minga (a non-profit organization), SROI workshops at my business school, and initiating the Hult Prize within my university. These activities have allowed me to share my passion for philanthropy, social finance, and social entrepreneurship with other students.
What do you do to keep your stress level managed?
I spend time with friends and family, go to yoga, or watch my favourite show!
Five-year plan. Go.
Live and work abroad while developing my career, and initiate various side projects which align with my passion for social justice.
What do you believe is the biggest challenge women face today?
The deep-rooted stereotypes that men and women place upon women. Especially in male-dominated industries like Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics (STEM) and Finance, there are obstacles that women must overcome which are not obvious.
What progress do you see in this issue?
I try my best to initiate conversations about women in business/leadership within my school and work environments. Sheryl Sandberg’s book, Lean In, allows me to create this conversation in a natural and meaningful way, which helps break down the barriers and challenges women face.
If you had to leave one message with young women, what would it be?
Be unapologetically yourself. Do not change yourself to fit someone else’s ideals, and always believe in your own abilities.
On Her Favourites
Music you’re grooving to: Hozier, Bryson Tiller, Beyonce
Movies and TV shows: Grey’s Anatomy, Shawshank Redemption
Travel destination: Hawaii!
Guilty pleasure: Grey’s Anatomy x10
Top three things you couldn’t live without: Chocolate, slippers, and family
Favourite app: Spotify
Go-to website: Facebook
Favourite person to follow on social media: Marnie the Dog
What gives you the biggest FOMO: Missing family functions!
On Everything Else
What inspires you to continue to do great work?
Being surrounded by ambitious and intelligent people allows me to have inspiring conversations, which motivate me to do great work.
When you hear the word ‘successful’ what’s the first thing that comes to mind?
“I just wanna be, I just wanna be successful” – Drake. But seriously, that song is the first thing I thought of! I think success differs for every person and a lot of the time people are too hard on themselves. I think to be successful we have to be grateful for what we have, and what we have accomplished in order to keep moving forward toward “success.”
Anything else you want our readers to know about you, what you’re doing or a final message you’d like to leave them with?
Surround yourself with people who support your dreams and make you laugh! 😀
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SheShines is a movement co-led by UniversityHub and Faze to put the spotlight on young women leaders. Nominate a SheShines leader by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.