Disabled at birth, Jess Tourtellotte-Palumbo is a long-time resident of Washington, she was born in Spokane and spent her childhood between there and Ephrata, before graduating from Lewis and Clark High School in 2005. Jess became the first in her family to earn a bachelor’s degree after attending The Evergreen State College in Olympia. She earned a Master in Science from the University of Illinois at Chicago in Disability and Human Development. Her passion led her to an internship in Washington, DC where she worked for the National Council on Independent Living lobbying on Capitol Hill for the ratification of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. After working for Centers for Independent Living, her focus centered on employment, then eventually brought her full circle to education, working at The Evergreen State College in TRIO Student Success for Disability Support. Her students are incredible individuals—reminding her that despite how much success and change has been achieved, there is still so much work to do and connections to be made.
Jess dedicates her campaign to all students she has met, students she is destined to meet, and to her 4-year-old kiddo, Eli. You are all so important. Let your voices ring and your spirits shine. You are amazing.