College: Worcester Polytechnic Institute
H.S. Sports: Marching Band, Varsity Basketball
Family: Chad (dad), Kay (mom), Casey (sister)
Best academic accomplishment: “When I was a junior, I received the Harvard Prize Book Award and the Robert Frost Junior English Award on the same night. I was really shocked about receiving both of the awards, especially the Harvard Book Award, but I am more proud of the Robert Frost Junior English Award. It was made after Robert Frost who taught at Pinkerton, and I like it more because it has a tie to Pinkerton’s history.”
Best athletic accomplishment: “In terms of honors, my best athletic accomplishment is being named Division 1 All-State Honorable Mention. However, throughout my four years of being on the girls varsity basketball team, I have been to three Final Fours and a championship, and I’m more proud of the memories I made with my team on the court.
“Also, I was a drum major of the Pinkerton marching band for two years, and senior year I was the head drum major. While it’s not exactly as competitive as basketball, I think the two years I spent leading over 150 musicians accounts for a great accomplishment.”
Biggest growth from freshman year to now: “At the end of sophomore year, I suffered major hair loss. In the span of a few months, I went from having super long, thick hair to less than an eighth of my hair. On August 12th of 2018, I looked at myself in the mirror and then shaved my head. When I was a freshman I would have never imagined going through anything like that, and I would have doubted that I would be able to emerge from it, much less go on to tell others about it.
“Going through major hair loss, without knowing if my bald spots were ever going to grow back or what caused it was really hard for me. But in the middle of it, I auditioned for drum major, and I got it. I grew from leading a band junior year with a shaved head, and senior year I wrote a speech about my journey for hundreds of other female student-athletes.
“Today, my hair has grown back, but what I learned about myself from that experience will always serve as a reminder that I can overcome anything the world throws at me.”
Best advice you could give to incoming freshmen: “Stereotypes were built to be shattered. ‘Dear freshmen, throw away everything that people think about you and chase your own destiny. Embrace uncertainty and build yourself a foundation through trial and error.’ Find something you like and throw yourself into it.”
If you were president and could change one thing what would that be?: “Well, it would probably be a long shot for me to become president, but if I could change one thing while I was in office, I would give more funding to the quality and accessibility of education (from preschool to college) so that kids can get off to a better start and so that college debt can be reduced.”
Recommendation: “Jesse is a once in a lifetime kind of leader. She uses her heart as her guide and she shows compassion to all. Match that with her drive and her work ethic, and she simply makes the world a better place. The Lady Astros were so lucky to have her and I know she will make a difference wherever she goes.”
—Pinkerton Academy Girls Basketball Coach Lani Buskey