Serving has long been a passion for Jessi King, and her career has involved helping others get connected to service, too. As a student at Wartburg, she went on multiple service trips and traveled to Anchorage, Alaska, during a May Term to help out at the Hope Community Resource Mission. After graduating in 2009 with a bachelor’s degree in political science and communication arts, she joined AmeriCorps and was an AmeriCorps Promise Fellow.
After attending Kansas State University and earning her master’s degree in regional and community planning in 2012, she moved across the country to work with VT Engage: The Community Learning Collaborative at Virginia Tech, where she managed a federal grant and community partnerships. The program connected students to service opportunities as a way to commemorate Sept. 11 and the 2007 Virginia Tech campus shootings.
Her career then took her to North Carolina’s Central Piedmont Community College, where she worked as a service-learning coordinator, helping students serve others locally and abroad. In 2016, King returned to Virginia Tech where she is a senior pre-award associate in the Office of Sponsored Programs, developing grant and contract proposals for faculty. At Virginia Tech, she also earned a graduate certificate in local government management in 2019.
After moving back to Virginia, King has been a member of the Blacksburg Junior Women’s Club and has helped plan multiple events to help raise money for the city of Blacksburg. The organization’s biggest event is the March of Ales Fundraiser, which she co-chaired for two years. Funds raised benefit service projects and the group’s donations throughout the year. Her favorite Junior Women’s Club event is Cornerstone, which helps set up apartments for women and their children who are leaving an abusive relationship. King was president of the club from 2018 to 2020.
Furthering her commitment to nonprofit agencies, King also served as department fundraising co-chair in 2018 for the Virginia Tech Commonwealth of Virginia Campaign, an annual giving program operated by and for state employees.
Attending a faith-based school was important to King, and she is a member of her local catholic church. “She lives out her faith by volunteering her time to help others in the area,” wrote her nominator, sister and fellow alumna Emily Preussner ’14. “She believes that being religious isn’t about showing up for an hour on Sunday. It is about how you live your life outside the church walls and how your faith shapes your morals and values.”
She and her husband, James, live in Blacksburg, Virginia.