Meet Our Staff


Mary Jessup

Senior Director
Hometown: Tulsa, OK

Pronouns: she/her/hers

Mary brings a lifelong passion for service and youth development to Elevate. In her role, she is committed to making DC nonprofits better by leveraging the unique vantage points and perspectives that local nonprofits bring. Before joining Elevate in 2014, she spent seven years working with Girl Scouts of Eastern Oklahoma. While working for the Girl Scouts, she facilitated programs for youth and volunteers, including mentoring for children and their incarcerated mothers, bully prevention, financial literacy, outdoor recreation skills, and youth leadership development.

Mary graduated from the University of Tulsa, earning her BA in Women’s and Gender Studies with a minor in English Literature. While at the University of Tulsa, her studies focused on the intersections of history, film, literature, and feminist theory, and enabled her to critically review power structures around gender, race, sexuality, and class throughout American history.

Outside of Elevate, Mary is a self-declared history nerd and enjoys watching her dog play at the dog park and reading fantasy/sci-fi novels.

What’s your favorite thing to do in DC?

I’m kind of a history nerd, so I can’t resist reading all the historical markers I see around the city. You can learn so much from those random plaques!

What’s your favorite quotation?

“When life gives you lemons, chunk it right back."
— Calvin of Bill Watterson’s Calvin & Hobbes

What’s your biggest grammatical pet peeve?

If you’re using two spaces after every period, you better be typing at a typewriter.

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