Jesslyn Smith

Project Manager and Level 1 Research Associate

Jesslyn was born in Ypsilanti, Michigan and moved to Charlotte, North Carolina when she was 8 years old. After graduating from North Mecklenburg High School, she attended the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill where she obtained her B.S. in psychology with minors in neuroscience and education in 2019. Here, she also worked for the Carolina Institute for Developmental Disabilities, where she worked as a member of the Autism Research Registry.

During her time at UNC and the Registry, she began to notice the immense educational inequities that exist within the educational system. As a low-income and first generation college student, she experienced the power that a quality education could have on a student’s outcomes. Passionate at addressing educational inequity, she joined the Helps Education Fund in 2019 as a graduate student at North Carolina State University in the School Psychology Program working with Dr. John Begeny.

Currently, Jesslyn lives in Raleigh, North Carolina. When she is not in class or doing research, she likes to bike, hike, play video games, cook, and relax with her pet rabbit, Merlin.