Jessica Yang is a doctoral candidate in the Graduate School of Social Work. Here Mrs. Yang is interested in how being in foster care impacts outcomes across the lifespan. Specifically, how adverse childhood experiences, such as aging out of foster care, can impact the aging process and outcomes for middle aged and older adults. Additionally, Jessica is interested in critically analyzing laws and policies influencing the outcomes that foster youth face, disparities and disproportionate outcomes for youth of color, and oppressive practices stemming from federal law, state law, and local policy.
In 2010, Jessica began coursework in the advanced standing cohort of the Master of Social Work program at Appalachian State University. Here she continued to be involved in child welfare research, research with marginalized populations and development and community outreach. During the yearlong program, she worked as a graduate research assistant to the university and as a child protective services intern/grant writer. Upon Jessica’s graduation from the master’s program she began full time employment with the Caldwell County Department of Social Services first as a Child Protective Services investigator and then as a case manager.
Undergraduate Education and Experiences:
Jessica attended Appalachian State University in Boone, North Carolina from 2006-2009, where she graduated cum laude with a BSW. While attending Appalachian State University Jessica was a North Carolina Child Welfare Scholar and was awarded a scholarship and practical job training in order to prepare for a career in child welfare. In addition, she was inducted into the Phi Alpha Social Work Honor
Society as well as the Pi Gamma Mu International Honor Society for Social Sciences.
During this time, Jessica also served the university community in several capacities. Jessica was the public relations chair for the Student Association of Social Work Students from 2007-2008 and she was the vice president of the Asian Student Association from 2007 to 2008. In addition, she worked as a diversity educator within the university from 2008 to 2009 to provide education, support and outreach to students, classes and multicultural organizations.