Celebrating Twenty Years: Kerlyne Desire

As we continue to appreciate 22 years of giving, sharing, and community-building, Jayme’s Fund has been interviewing some of the beautiful people we’ve gotten to know over the life of the organization.”

This month, we share our interview with Kerlyne Desire. Here’s what she had to say about her experience with the organization. 

I was one of Jayme’s students. Back then it was Summerbridge, but now it’s the Breakthrough Collaborative. As Jayme’s Fund got started, I met with Caren (Jayme’s mom) and different team members. We’d plan how to get the word out and get the activities up and running. I really liked that, being connected that way. I have fond memories about it. 

Jayme had actually asked me if she could use my image for something she was working on, and I said yes. I’m happy to have that connection to Jayme’s Fund. [Editorial note: you probably recognize this image of a student and teacher (that Jayme drew) from our website and promotional materials over the years.]

Jaymes funds

I remember Jayme being engaged. I was more of an observer of situations…. I’m not really expressive. So, I feel like that can come off as shy…and just naturally I was quiet. But with Jayme, she definitely tried with me, to engage me more. I could tell it was a little bit out of her comfort zone too. But when I reflect on that, I appreciate that special attention. And I was kind of surprised too…the drawing that she made of me…and her asking me if that was okay…I was touched. I think that really speaks to her character and the spirit of Jayme’s Fund. Attention for all kinds of people. I’m really appreciative of the connection to Jayme’s Fund. I can’t believe it – twenty years. That’s crazy, but amazing at the same time. 

Since I was involved with Jayme’s Fund, I moved to Massachusetts to start working with a global nonprofit that focuses on educational equity and workforce development opportunities in hard-to-reach areas. I’ve been working in the legal department as an admin coordinator for them since 2018. 

It’s been really fulfilling to see the behind-the-scenes work to get a project up and running and maintaining the projects there. It can be a little stressful sometimes, but it’s really good to see the work they’re doing in communities worldwide. 

Working with Jayme’s Fund definitely influenced me on my path. I had just graduated school, so I was back in New Hampshire. It was a great way to get connected back into the community and get active. A social justice organization. I feel like that kind of sparked me pursuing what I ended up pursuing in Massachusetts, including as a teaching fellow. I’m so appreciative…it helped ground me a little bit. I’m now working with the Education Development Center. 

A message from Jayme’s Fund: Kerlyne, thank you so much for speaking with us and sharing your memories of Jayme and your experience with the organization. We wish you all the best moving forward!

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