As the eldest of six children in a single-parent household, Lanisha Grider was a natural leader. She worked hard in school, set a positive example, and helped her mother take care of her siblings. When Lanisha was a sophomore in high school, her mother passed away. “All I knew at that point was that I had Jesus and that my siblings needed to know they could still live out their dreams,” said Lanisha. She always dreamed of furthering her education but also knew she wanted to devote the first four years of her adult life to shaping and building Christ-like character. She decided to apply to Jessup after she had a Jessup alumna as a high school substitute teacher, ultimately choosing the school because of the responsive, attentive, and kind admissions counselors. “Being a first-generation college student, I needed that kindness.”
Witnessing the strong character and leadership qualities of the professors in the classroom and watching them worship God at chapel made Lanisha’s Jessup experience powerful. “When (Jessup) leaders have the character of Christ and honor God with their lives, the Spirit of God touches the hearts of everyone who comes to Jessup,” said Lanisha.
Lanisha’s younger sister Ambriana joined her at Jessup a year later. As a public policy major, Ambriana wanted to learn as much as she could about public service. After experiencing an academic “rough patch” and unsure about graduate school, Ambriana turned to Jessup’s Career & Life Planning department. “I am thankful for all the resume edits and encouragement, as it helped build my professionalism in college and helped me get an awesome internship with the Housing Authority of Roseville,” said Ambriana. “I was also able to pursue my dream of graduate school despite the setbacks, which I credit to the support I received from this department.”
Lanisha and Ambriana graduated from Jessup in 2019 and 2020, respectively. They both work as housing coordinators for a non-profit in the Bay Area, finding housing for people with developmental disabilities. “We chose this organization because we have three siblings with developmental disabilities,” said Lanisha. “It’s comforting to know that our siblings can live independently should they ever want to. Adults with disabilities need a strong advocacy network to be their voice. We are proud to be a part of that network.”
Ambriana is also part of CSU East Bay’s Public Administration graduate program and hopes to work for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) after graduation. She’s thankful for how her public policy degree prepared her for her master’s program and the ways Jessup’s Career and Life Planning department guided her along her career path. “It is important for me to understand the different housing laws and public programs that my organization works closely with,” said Ambriana. “I would say the foundation my degree gave me was so important, and I think it was the perfect fit for me, as it has given me confidence in the opportunities I have now.”
For more information about Jessup’s Career & Life Planning department, please visit their page here.