Recently, our SAGE program has been revitalized, with a new name- SAGE Rochester- new leadership, and a refreshed commitment to engaging with the community. Central to that shift has been JessieLee Gibson, our Volunteer of the Month for May. Jessie has been volunteering with the Gay Alliance for three years, helping with special events like the Red Ball and Rochester Pride in addition to her hard work as the Programming Coordinator for the SAGE program.

Jessie works with SAGE Rochester weekly on Tuesdays and Thursdays, where she’s led programs like cooking workshops, games, organized events, and more for LGBTQ older adults in the Rochester community. We asked Jessie to tell us a bit about her work with SAGE Rochester: “In SAGE Rochester we are working on health and wellness of SAGE members, assisting members with supportive, engaging and safe programming. I personally incorporate an active, fun, loving environment as we should live every day to the fullest!” Jessie has worked closely with Anne Tischer, who says “A real problem-solver, Jessie can find a way around the road blocks so we have quality social and educational experiences for seniors. Seniors are often isolated, financially challenged or have physical or mental concerns that must be factored in when doing planning and Jessie goes the extra mile to try to include everyone.”

Jessie is from Bloomfield, NY, where she raises a daughter and son. Beyond her work with the Gay Alliance, Jessie also volunteers at WXXI and advocates for special education reform and the prevention of human trafficking and domestic violence. She begins each day feeding the cat, seeing her daughter off to school, and ends it seeing her son falling asleep with his music still playing. Jessie told us: “I’ve had many successful and failed journeys, but every day the sun will shine and my new day starts with wondering what it will bring.”

We are forever grateful to the Jessie for her dedication and commitment to the lives of Rochester area LGBTQ older adults- without people like her, our work wouldn’t be possible. Congratulations to JessieLee Gibson for being selected Volunteer of the Month for May!