our Midwest Office:
Hey ya’ll! My name is Jess Novak and I am the
Children’s Programming Intern for Family Equality Council at the
Midwest Office. To tell you a bit about myself- I was born and
raised on the south side of Chicago and came to the Twin Cities for
school. I am currently in my third year at the University of St.
Thomas studying English, Justice and Peace Studies, and well as
Women’s Studies. I am president of Allies, our LGBTQA group on
campus, lead cultural immersion trips around the world, and am an
ultimate Frisbee junkie. I spend most of my days working at the
Child Development Center on campus in the infant classrooms.
Children have always been a huge part of my life and investing in
our youth is a value I hold close to my heart.
I first got involved with FEC at the Annual Halloween Dance in Fall
2010. To say the least, it was love at first registration check-in.
The sense of community that was present among the families
attending as well as the FEC staff was absolutely amazing and
completely inspiring. It was an honor to be welcomed into a space
of excitement, trust and camaraderie, even if it was just for the
evening. Upon chatting with Mel and hearing about the intern
positions available, I realized that being a part of an
organization that is, in my opinion, so essential and formative to
not only the LGBTQ community but the Midwest region as a whole was
an opportunity I could not pass up.
Now, 5 months later, I find myself popping in and out
of the office, making phone calls, writing emails, and creating
schedules in preparation and anticipation for our Annual Conference
on April 9th. In obvious ways, my work is important because it is a
large part of a huge conference and a day of enjoyment for many
children depends on it. In a not so obvious way I like to think my
work is important because it expands the community a little bit
further. The programs and programmers the children encounter, as
well as the way in which they encounter each other brings about a
kind of growth for the families Family Equality Council serves. I
hope that my work creates laughter and smiles, brings about
inclusion and diversity, and cultivates compassion and
And where I am going? As of now, nowhere- I hope to
continue to be a member of the FEC team. Family Equality Council is
an organization I believe in, full of people I admire that do work
I consider indispensably beautiful. I am honored to be a part of
such a family!