Outreach Director: Jacquelyn Chyrell Richards came to Albany, New York in 2008 to attend The College of Saint Rose after her longstanding active interest in public affairs and service growing up on Long Island in Uniondale, NY.
Before joining the Saint Rose Community, at age fifteen, Jacquelyn worked as a member of the Teen Advocate Project (TAP), a prevention-through-the-arts peer education program of Planned Parenthood of Nassau County, becoming an expert Sexuality Health Peer Educator. She was trained to educate her community on topics surrounding sexuality including but not limited to Contraception, Sexually Transmitted Infections, Self- Esteem, Body Image, Healthy Relationships, and Communication. Jacquelyn’s presence which commands attention and her well-spoken voice that can transform open ears to open hearts gave her an unlikely opportunity to express her views and objections on NPR Special Series: Kids – Teens Teaching Each Other About Sex.
At The College of Saint Rose Jacquelyn became an ALANA Peer Mentor who helped incoming freshmen students of color achieve a successful academic experience in College. After returning from studying abroad, in 2012 she began interning with the New York State Senate Democratic Conference Internship Program, in the office of Senator Velmanette Montgomery, which allowed her to help strengthen and build a government as good as our people. Jacquelyn proved herself to be an invaluable asset to the Program not only to the Director, but also to the Senators themselves; she was the only intern that was asked by Senator Velmanette Montgomery, who serves as the Chair of the Program, to return for two additional legislative sessions. In addition, she was an Executive Board Member for Pi Sigma Alpha-Political Science Society. Jacquelyn was also heavily involved with numerous community organizations and served as a volunteer hotline counselor for the Crime Victim and Sexual Violence Center, and volunteer for Whiskers, a local cat shelter.
Regardless of attending school full-time, working full-time, working as a Legislative Intern, volunteering as a sexual assault hotline counselor and finding time to volunteer at a local cat shelter; Jacquelyn’s grace, passion, and motivation has touched the lives of so many individuals of the Albany community.
Jacquelyn continued to defy the odds by graduating and being inducted into the Alpha Lambda Omega Chapter of Phi Alpha Theta (National History Honor Society), in 2014 from The College of Saint Rose as a first-generation college graduate, receiving her Bachelor of Arts double majoring in History and Political Science and double minoring in English and Music. Upon graduating from St. Rose, Jacquelyn’s leadership and devotion to creating change and improving lives led her to take a position working for Legal Services Corporation (LSC) in Washington, D.C. She worked with Jim Sandman, President of LSC, on providing funds for civil legal aid for low-income Americans in the nation.
Jacquelyn returned to Albany to work for the New York State Assembly Intern Committee. Her professional career outside of academia includes conducting a variety of outreach activities, recruiting, and retaining Black Caucus Chapters nationally as Outreach Director for the Black Caucus of the Young Democrats of America, Director of Membership for the Albany County Young Democrats, Youth Committee Chair for the Albany County Democratic Committee, Advisor to the New York State Senate Democratic Conference Internship and ensuring that every individual has an equal opportunity to participate fully in the economic, cultural and intellectual life of Albany as the youngest, current sitting member of the City of Albany Commission on Human Rights. She has applied this combination of practical and academic experience to a variety of city and state clubs, nonprofit organizations and political agencies throughout New York State, across America and the world.
These professional efforts have been recognized by Walker’s Legacy, celebrating the contributions of women around the country with its inaugural Power50 List, She’s A Boss, Inc., Social Change Agents Institute’s (SCAI) and the United State of Women Summit, hosted by the White House. Jacquelyn became recently selected as one of 6 people nationally to participate in the Social Change Agents Institute’s (SCAI) South African trip to Cape Town and Johannesburg. Jacquelyn will host Civic Engagement and Empowerment Training for young adults to help build capacity for social change in South Africa.
Outside of professional interests, she travels widely, reads, plays the violin, plays tennis, and enjoys learning new languages.
It is clear that Jacquelyn Richards is a true humanitarian, an extremely empathetic young woman, and a multi-talented individual. Many can say with confidence that Jacquelyn has helped to improve the lives of people in her community and she will continue to do so throughout her life.