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Jessica Posner Odede

Co-Founder and COO, Shining Hope for Communities


Jessica is an internationally recognized social entrepreneur, a New York Times bestselling author and the co-founder and COO of Shining Hope for Communities (SHOFCO.) Upon first meeting Kennedy Odede in 2007 when working with SHOFCO in Kibera as a study abroad student, she became one of the first outsiders to live inside the slum and was deeply moved by the struggles facing the Kibera community. She graduated Phi Beta Kappa with honors in African-American Studies from Wesleyan University, before moving back to Kenya on her own for three years to grow SHOFCO’s work. She won the 2010 Do Something Award and was named “America’s top-world changer 25 and under” live on VH1. Jessica also received the prestigious Echoing Green Fellowship. She is the youngest alumnae in the history of the institution to receive Wesleyan University’s “Distinguished Alumni Award.” She recently received the David Rockefeller Bridging Leadership Award.