Jessi Cord: Tech Specialist for an Organization with the World’s Strongest Foundation – Love146
Jessi Cord is just cool – confident, calm, and collected.
She’s ‘cool’ not only in her general spirit and presence, but also in the way that she so mindfully articulates the values and footprint of her employer, Love146. Cord’s language is clear and deliberate; her messaging is on-point; all as it (and she) should be. Communicating Love146’s mission takes special care; they do important work.
For approximately 15 years, Love146 has served as an international human rights organization working to end child trafficking and exploitation through programs that support survivor care and prevention. Though their holistic and healing programs and services have transformed over the years as the organization has grown, their foundation remains strong – and that is love.
Love146 takes a humanistic approach; they share stories from youth they serve; they protect survivor identities. They consciously distribute communication pieces that are full of light, hope, and positivity in what one might assume to be some of today’s darkest spaces in the heart, mind, and soul. They consciously put the industry’s statistics on the back-burner – choosing not to allow the trauma to define the survivors.
Cord connected with Love146’s mission immediately; so much so, that when she applied for an internship with the organization four years ago, she applied for every available internship they were offering. “They actually replied back, and asked, ‘did you mean to apply to all of these?’” Cord recalls with a laugh. “And I did; I said, ‘yes, and I’m willing to learn.’” In 2013, Cord landed an internship with Love146 which took her to the organization’s New Haven, Connecticut home office.
She describes herself as ‘the intern who never left’, working her way through her internship to contract work, and then full-time employment. Today, she works as a Tech Specialist the organization’s Charlotte office, located in Hygge’s Camp Northend.
Cord’s journey to Love146 wasn’t typical. A native of High Point, North Carolina, she studied Editorial Fashion Photography and Global Studies at Appalachian State University. But, it was an internship for an anti-trafficking organization in India her senior year changed the game.
“Back when I was at App, I met a photographer at a photo convention in New York City, and he spoke about women who’d be trafficked, and I wanted to focus on that work more than photography,” she recalls. “I wanted to do more social work than fashion photography.”
She traveled to India only to find that it takes a special person to do that social work.
“I ended up designing [the organization in India’s] website when I was there, and I was kind of salty about that because I wanted to be on the front lines,” she says. “But then I realized how valuable that skill was for a small organization, and I was able to see that there’s still room for me at the table.”