After earning a bachelor’s degree from Campbell University, NC State Youth, Family and Community Sciences alumnus Jeremy Crisp started his career as a youth director at the YMCA of the Triangle. After about seven years, Crisp wanted more.
“As I was working there, I kind of felt like I wanted to academically do more, but it was definitely one of those things that was hard to determine when and where and what,” Crisp said.
Crisp wanted the opportunity to continue his career and further his education at the same time. He chose NC State Online and Distance Education and enrolled in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences’ Master of Family Life and Youth Development Program with a concentration in administration. The program has since evolved into the Master of Science in Youth, Family and Community Sciences (YFCS).
“I stumbled across this program on the website and thought that it was something that I would be interested in and I applied pretty quickly,” Crisp said.
Crisp appreciated the flexibility of the online program, being able to take classes from home.
“I also really appreciated the opportunities that I had when I could meet face-to-face with faculty and with students,” Crisp said. He was also amazed by how many faculty and staff were invested in his future.
“Even after you’re done with the program, they’re the people who still want to be a resource for you. You hope for that part, but I was blown away, Crisp said. “It’s something that’s rare to find in life.”
Crisp said his experience in the YFCS online program was positive. He feels like it was a great opportunity for him to enhance his overall knowledge in the field and learn other professional soft skills. He completed the master’s program from NC State in 2015 and is now a program manager for Kids Included Together (KIT), a non-profit organization headquartered in San Diego.
“We teach inclusive practices to organizations that serve children and youth,” Crisp said. As program manager, Crisp provides technical assistance and training on inclusive practices. He also plans and develops the training curriculum.
“With what we do at KIT, we have 16 different lab training modules. Then we have an online learning center where we house all of our webinars that have been delivered and we’re continuing to build that library,” Crisp explained.
Although KIT’s specific area of knowledge is on inclusive practices for children with disabilities, they advocate inclusion among all groups of people.
Crisp was eventually tasked with developing and opening KIT’s office in Washington, D.C. Two of the organization’s largest contracts are with the U.S. Departments of Education and Defense.
“We decided it would be important to have a D.C. office mostly to honor those relationships and make sure we could get a face for those relationships whenever needed,” Crisp explained.
Crisp said it was around this time that he really started to apply what he learned from the online YFCS program to his job. He did an assessment of other organizations in the area to help discover the needs of the community.
Crisp says he’s learned a variety of leadership skills in his role with KIT. In March, he’ll travel to Italy to deliver trainings to military installations.
In addition to his job with KIT, Crisp serves as a program advisor and representative for the National Youth Transition Center.
“I don’t want to sound obnoxious when I say this, but I literally right now, for the past two years, have been living my dream job,” Crisp said.