BY ASHA MAHADEVAN
BACKGROUND: Jesse Mills, 25, was born in Rhode Island to an American mother and a father of Salvadoran origin. He majored in Hispanic language and literatures at George Washington University in Washington, D.C. He moved to Astoria two years ago. He describes the neighborhood as a “cool” one that is “pretty diverse” as it houses the young, the old, immigrants and non-immigrants.
OCCUPATION: He works at a sports technology company in the field of product management.
COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT: Mills was always interested in giving back and lending a helping hand. His mother was an immigration lawyer, and his stepfather is of Cuban origin. He grew up in an environment exposed to the trials of the immigrant community and he knew that’s where he wanted to volunteer his help. A year ago, he found he had some extra time on his hands. He got in touch with New Immigrant Community Empowerment, an organization based in Jackson Heights that works for immigrant workers. He started with analyzing data they had collected from a survey before moving on to working on their website, https://justice4jobseekers.org. He uses his skills in web design to update the site, keeping current content guiding immigrant workers on how they should not be taken advantage of by job agencies that don’t follow rules and regulations.
GREATEST ACHIEVEMENT: “I don’t think I’ve necessarily achieved a lot. I just enjoy meeting and talking to people from different walks of life and I am happy I have been able to do that.”
BIGGEST CHALLENGE: “Having moved around a lot [over the years], it’s tough to get to know people for a long period of time. Getting to know a community is difficult. My two years in New York is the longest time I’ve been in one place. It’s nice to be more ingrained for a change.”
INSPIRATION: “I won’t say a particular person inspires me, but the aspects of many people. People who go out of their way to help, who are honest, straightforward with their intentions, those are the people I look up to.”
- Star of Queens: Jus Daze, volunteer, Forward Rise
- Star of Queens: Rehmat E. Khalid, volunteer, Make the Road New York
- Star of Queens: John Spagnuolo, president of the Kiwanis Club of Howard Beach