15:30 Project was established in 2010 after Jessica returned from her first visit to Open Arms-Home for Children in South Africa. Jess, a 13 year old eigth grader at the time, went into the trip not expecting anything more than adventure, but came out with a changed perspective and a fierce sense of motivation to successfully fulfill her promise of returning to the children.
After her return, Jess and her grandmother made a purse from old quilt scraps which spawned fundraising for her next plane ticket through the sale of handmade purses. That year, Jess sewed over 50 purses and raised enough to pay for her plane ticket and extra funds to apply towards education, field trips, medications, and food for the children of Open Arms.
Since that first trip, Jessica has returned to South Africa eight times and Ghana once with the purpose of assisting underprivileged children. She has now graduated from Macalester College in St. Paul, MInnesota with a major in International Studies, minors in Anthropology and Political Science, and concentrations in both Human Rights and Humanitarianism and African Studies. Beginning September of 2018, Jessica will be completing a year long fellowship with Princeton in Africa where she will be working in Zambia with Healthy Kids/ Brighter Future to enhance her non-profit management skills.