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Leader No. 5: Jessica Rodgers Helps San Diegans Find Needed Services

The 28-year-old advises not to feel sorry for yourself but ask yourself, "What more can I give?"

Jessica Rodgers is dedicated to ensuring all San Diegans have the services they deserve.

The 28-year-old is development manager for 2-1-1 San Diego, a nonprofit with a mission of helping people find community, health and disaster services.

In fact, Rodgers—who also serves as the interim chair of the Young Nonprofit Professionals Network San Diego—helped secure a $2 million grant to improve transportation and social services.

She hopes to remain on this path.

"I would love to continue writing grant proposals to help people access services they need," she said. "I also want to give back to emerging leaders in the nonprofit sector and help them gain the experience they so avidly seek. On a personal note, I'd love to get my food blog back up and running and better address the issue of food insecurity."

Rodgers finds her inspiration through women.

"I can’t help but feel a bond to other women and their triumphs and struggles," she said. "I know that with any struggle I have, other women are willing to jump in and coach me through it, and I want to do the same as I continue to move through my career."

Advice for young people:

"You're going to run into moments when you think other people aren't giving opportunities to you. You can choose to feel sorry for yourself or you can ask yourself, 'What more can I give?' Get to work early; have a clean desk; take a colleague or friend out to coffee and learn about their life and what they’re doing at work; say no to things you know you cannot do, but say yes to everything you know you can; share your ideas but know the idea is not 'you' and it is for everyone to build upon; be critical but always listen openly before and after you share; build a network and help others before even thinking how they can help you. You can’t get to where you want to be just by doing things on your own. Build friendships and support others in getting what they need and you’ll all move forward together."

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