Jordan Hewes ’20 knew she wanted to pursue psychology since eighth grade. Her career assessment tests in middle school and high school always pointed her toward the path of psychology, social work and mental health services, and she dedicated much of her college experience toward cultivating that career interest.
Despite her clearly defined career goals, however, Hewes took some time adjusting to college life. Not feeling completely at home on campus, she opted to live off campus her junior year. That same year, she received an email from Jen Tockman, Colby-Sawyer’s director of career development and BOLD Women’s Leadership Network, inviting her to join Colby-Sawyer’s inaugural class of BOLD scholars. The email served as a pivotal moment for Hewes, who credits her experience in BOLD with giving her the ability to “break out of (her) shell.”
The BOLD Women’s Leadership Network is a program that focuses on supporting the career goals of first-generation college students who identify as female and are from rural areas. This groundbreaking program provides students with invaluable opportunities for career development, networking, financial aid awards, financial support for community-based projects, internships and post-graduation fellowship grant funding. Colby-Sawyer was invited to join the BOLD network, a selective group of only six colleges nationwide, in 2018. Hewes and six other qualifying students from the Class of 2020 were included in Colby-Sawyer’s inaugural chapter of the BOLD scholars program.
Upon graduating from Colby-Sawyer with a Bachelor of Arts in psychology and a minor in child development, Hewes was determined to go straight to graduate school. With an Excel spreadsheet of her top choices for graduate school in hand, she set her sights on institutions with exemplary social work programs. After researching her carefully constructed list of prestigious graduate schools, Hewes decided to apply only to Smith College, where she is currently pursuing her master’s degree in social work, with an expected completion date of 2023.
For Hewes, BOLD not only provided a foothold in her desired career but also equipped her with the confidence to speak up about salary expectations and realistic boundaries at work. Hewes said she was motivated by one of BOLD’s many influential guest speakers at Colby-Sawyer.
“When it comes to money,” Hewes said. “As a woman in the workplace, I am prepared to sit down and say, ‘This is what I expect for money.’ I would have never done that (before BOLD). I would have sold myself short.”
Hewes has already begun to use those skills in the hectic nonprofit environments in which she has worked. In the spring semester of her senior year at Colby-Sawyer, she began an internship with Hanover Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (HCBT) in Hanover, N.H. The internship with HCBT led her to a BOLD fellowship through which she co-founded the Equal Care Fund, a program that helps low-income individuals in the Upper Valley access sustainable mental healthcare services. The vision of the Equal Care Fund is outlined on the website Hewes helped build: “Through long-term (12-18 months) funding support, individuals will be able to maintain care with quality psychotherapy, psychiatry sessions and/or psycho- educational services that fit applicants’ clinical and financial needs.”
Hewes’ tenacity and passion for mental health, as well as her dedication to the well-being of all individuals, makes her a determined advocate for this cause.
“I always knew I wanted to run my own business,” she said. “I didn’t know anything about nonprofits, but I’m not surprised this is where I have ended up because I’ve always wanted to help everyone, and that’s the whole mission of this.”