Welcome Jessica Hobson !!

Headshot of Jessica Hobson, Asian woman with black top and red scarf

We, as the Sprockets Community Engagement Team, are excited to introduce you all to our new member: Jessica Hobson. She is a very talented and amazing person who loves to do youth work and support us in anyway she can. We had a chance to interview her for the job, along with some other strong candidates. It was a competitive interview process, but Jessica stood out to us the most because she is very relatable and will be able to navigate connecting with both adults and young people.  Here is a little information about her!

Q: What got you into doing youth work?

A: She was a history major at the University of Minnesota, and she has decided that she didn’t want to become a teacher. However, she fell in love with History Day projects and became a mentor. She started thinking about what she could do to help people become successful. Her first job as a youth worker was being one of the coordinators for National History Day, including Saint Paul Public Schools.

Q: What did you enjoy about History Day?

A: She loved meeting everyone and having a connection with people. She worked with a lot of youth (8,000 in one year!) but was able to get to know them one-on-one. She thinks it’s cool to find out why people come to Minnesota and are together because everyone has a different story. 

Q: Where did you work prior to Sprockets?

A: She worked at the Minnesota Historical Society for seven years in the Department of Inclusion and Community Engagement.  Before that, Caribou Coffee for three years. She’s obsessed with coffee and she loves history, so these were perfect places to work!

Q: What do you look forward to working with Sprockets?

A: She’s looking forward to working with all of us on the team, especially promoting what out-of-school-time can be like. She likes thinking outside of the box and she hopes to help us (students) feel confident in our work. She has a goal to get to know everyone that works with Sprockets.

Q: What are you excited to bring to Sprockets?

A: A lot of the things! She has done and still wants to do is work in Inclusion and Equity.  She is passionate in making sure that the work she does and the work Sprockets does is equitable.

Q: Outside of work time, what other opportunities do you have with youth?

A: She is still involved in History Day as a judge - Do it!  They need more diverse judges.  However, most of her youth work happens within the borders of her career.  Her work takes up a lot of what she does and who she is. 

Q: When you were younger, what did you do outside of school?

A: She was in Taekwondo for several years.  She was in theater in high school. She wasn’t acting but instead, she worked in the lighting crew. She is afraid of heights, so fixing the lighting was kind of scary for her. 

Q: What are some of your hobbies?

A: She is a big book nerd! She has a goal to read 52 books this year.  She also loves to travel - road trips are her favorite. 

Q: Where have you traveled recently?

A: She has family in Australia, and she visited them a few years ago. It took her about 42 hours to come back with 22 hours of flight time . Her best friend wanted to visit all 50 states, so they went on a 14-state road trip.  Her friend only has four states left! Her favorite place to go/visit is South Korea. She’s been to South Korea three times and has tried to connect to her culture. It is part of her home. 

Q: Going back into the books, what type of books do you read?  Is there one you would recommend?

A: She really loves historical fiction and fantasies. She recommends the book Akata Witch. She is always a fan of strong and “real” female leads. She likes it when the female lead doesn’t need anyone to be their prince and save them like other Disney princesses. 

Q: Where was your favorite place to travel?

A: In South Korea, her favorite place is a small little town where there is a Buddhist temple and all the monks, every morning at 4 starts there ceremony. It is really early in the morning. It is just really cool and peaceful, probably the most peaceful she’s ever felt.