The Class of 2019

Jesse Lederman

Springfield City Councilor; Pre-Admissions Advisor and Recruitment Coordinator, UMass Amherst University Without Walls; Age 24
Education: UMass Amherst (BA)

Jesse Lederman

Jesse Lederman

What did you want to be when you grew up? As a child, I went back and forth between wanting to be a lawyer and a journalist, before realizing my real passion was working directly in the community.

What are you passionate about? I am most passionate about keeping my word, building and supporting our community, and advocating for those who might not be in a position to advocate for themselves.

Who has been your best mentor, and why? E. Henry Twiggs and Melvin Edwards took me under their wing when I was first getting involved in community work and taught me the meaning of public service. One of the opportunities I value most is that I now serve alongside them on the City Council.

Whom do you look up to, and why? I’ve always looked up to my mom. She held our family together and supported her kids no matter what challenges she encountered, and never lost her sense of humor along the way.

What goal do you set for yourself at the start of each day? Make the most out of every hour.

What will work colleagues say at your funeral? “Well, he finally worked himself to death.”

Photography by Leah Martin Photography