One of the pillars of a Country Day education is honing one’s ability to be a good steward, acting in service to others through our five character virtues. We see this displayed – in big and small ways – every day on our campus. We also see it showcased through the thoughtful acts of our alumni, as is the case with Jessica Dessner ’91.
Jessica and her spouse Ole Sondresen live in the Piedmont region of Italy and are hosting Ukrainian refugees and raising funds for immediate and continued relief efforts. Jessica has aggregated efforts with other residents in Alba and together they have produced extraordinary outcomes. To date, over 100 Ukrainian families have been provided with support, housing, and everyday necessities because of their efforts.
And while Jessica and Ole have lived in Alba for less than a decade, her ancestral roots go back much further. Her grandmother escaped from Odessa, Ukraine over 100 years ago during the Russian Civil War.
“There is absolutely an emotional connection to what is happening now and what happened back then,” said Steve Dessner, Jessica’s father. “What Jessica, Ole, and their community is doing to support these Ukrainian families is remarkable…although I’m not surprised – Jessica is a force of nature and always has her heart in the right place.”
If you would like to donate to their efforts, please visit the fundraiser's GoFundMe page.