Jessica A. Allen
Award: HONORING WOMEN IN NEW YORK
Jessica A. Allen, a native of Brooklyn, is one of today’s most innovative professionals. At a young age, Ms. Allen knew that she wanted to help people. It was this drive that led her to the doorsteps of various community-based organizations from the moment she received her working papers. She enjoys great fulfi llment from helping those in her community who might not have the resources to help themselves.
Ms. Allen credits much of her success to being mentored by some of New York City’s most infl uential women who are both leaders of industry and well respected. She learned to identify the needs of her community while mobilizing leadership and resources to address these needs. Ms. Allen understands the importance and impact of giving back to her community by using her skills, heart and voice to stand up for those who are less fortunate and often overlooked.
Under the tutelage of Ms. Divinah Bailey, founder and former Chief Executive Offi cer of the Watchful Eye and longtime community leader, Ms. Allen became passionate about halting the spread of HIV/ AIDS. She was encouraged to utilize her talents and strengths to galvanize and educate her peers about the importance of getting tested and knowing their HIV status.
Ms. Allen understands that her success will be determined not by circumstances, but by choice. As a result, she refuses to let any situation defi ne her limits or goals. She has transcended external defi nitions of who she is and what she can accomplish and moved to a position of realizing the value she brings to the world when she succeeds.
In her role as Chief Executive Offi cer of the Watchful Eye, she provides direction for the organization’s charge to mobilize and educate locally and nationally elected offi cials, as well as clergy and civic leaders, around the issues of HIV/AIDS as they relate to communities of color.
Ms. Allen holds a Bachelor’s in Psychology from the College of New Rochelle and is currently pursuing a Master’s in Mental Health at Long Island University. She is a mother of an inquisitive young boy who is a constant motivation for her every day.