Alumni Jessica Vest Uses Her Experiences to Do Good


Katie Hayward, Reporter

Alumni Jessica Vest is someone that loves to help others in need, and is able to do that by volunteering with the St. Baldrick’s organization.

Vest had her mind set on becoming a cosmetologist, but later fell into a career in property management and “worked her way up the ladder.” 

She actually found this job when she complained about working three part time jobs to her father’s neighbor, who works for the company she is currently at, and the neighbor recommended Vest for the job. 

At her job she has a variety of different responsibilities. She schedules collectors and armed guards to go to six different payment centers, and she also helps the collectors post rent payments as well. 

Additionally, she and her coworkers have to make sure that payments are applied to the correct resident and allocated correctly. 

And there are a lot of residents to oversee; her company owns over 10,000 units in Cockeysville, Sparks, Essex, Baltimore City, Parkville, Glen Burnie, Catonsville, and Columbia.

Vest has an apparent appreciation for her job. She said, “I don’t see myself switching careers. I have been here for 11 years. I really enjoy my job and work for a great company.”

In her line of work, Vest knows many recent graduates look into apartments and wanted to note some advice for them: “Make sure that you can afford the apartment and read your lease. This is a contract and you have to uphold it.” 

She also noted some more advice for high school students; she said, “Slow down, enjoy it [..] the real world is hard.” 

Vest has faced some of the most difficult parts of the “real world”. “Since high school, my brother passed away at the age of 29 from Sarcoma cancer. […] Watching someone go through that is hard and cruel. I feel like when I was younger I took my family for granted, but they won’t always be here. In September my dad passed away from lung cancer. Life can take you to some dark places, and we don’t know what each other are going through.”

Inspired by her brother’s fight against sarcoma cancer (a cancer often found in children), Vest volunteers with St. Baldricks. 

St. Baldricks is a nonprofit childhood cancer organization and funds a lot of childhood cancer research. They have an event each March at Looneys in Bel Air, Maryland. Vest typically sets up an online donation page to raise money for the following year. 

Besides volunteering at St. Baldricks, she also enjoys crafting. Vest really likes making gifts for people. She has also made T-shirts, vinyl decals for cups or glasses, and paper flowers. She owns an Instagram page where she posts her creations. She mostly just takes requests from people and makes whatever they want. She hopes to soon be confident enough to have her own Etsy store in the near future. 

Overall, Vest has accomplished a great deal of positive things after graduation. She encourages everyone to take high school slow and have fun, but also be cautious of the future and what it holds for you.