Jessie Hawthorn

Colorado Department of Labor and Employment: Digital Navigator Program Administrator

Jessie graduated from Metropolitan State University of Denver with a Bachelor’s degree in political science and worked for a short time with the National Conference on State Legislatures as a Research Analyst helping legislators around the country implement welfare reform. Around that time, Jessie learned of an opportunity to volunteer in English as a Second Language (ESL) classes at Spring Institute for Intercultural Learning. This experience deeply impacted Jessie and started her career serving historically marginalized communities. Jessie has helped youth and adults improve their basic skills, English language proficiency, earn their high school equivalency diplomas and gain other skills needed for success in career and postsecondary education and training as an instructor, program manager and as a member of the adult education department at the Colorado Department of Education. She has connected youth and adults in adult education programs with Connecting Colorado and their local workforce centers. Jessie served on the Adams County Workforce Development Board from 2017-2020. She has also served on the board of the Colorado Adult Education Professional Association (CAEPA).

Shortly after earning her Master’s degree in Curriculum and Instruction focusing on Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Education at the University of Colorado at Denver, she was accepted as an English Language Fellow by the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs in the US State Department. Jessie served as a fellow for a year at Jimma University in southwestern Ethiopia. After that, she taught English at the Universidad del Istmo in Ixtepec, Oaxaca, Mexico. Jessie was born in Flagstaff, Arizona and has lived in Colorado since 1996. She lives in ‘original’ Aurora with her three children, dog and cat.