Jenny Mesecher Ogg – Finance Manager
My name is Jennifer Mesecher Ogg, and I am the Finance Manager of the Young Women’s Resource Center (YWRC). I have been with the YWRC for 14 years. I am a Des Moines native and graduate of Lincoln High School. I attended Upper Iowa University where I received both a BS in Accounting and a Masters in Business Administration with an accounting emphasis.
The YWRC and I found one another for a couple of reasons. The first was that I have always been passionate about equality and have seen first-hand the challenges that young women face. I have always truly enjoyed math, yet had teachers overlook my abilities in this field because I was a girl. I have been sexually harassed and catcalled while walking down the street. My rules were not the same as my brothers; they were stricter. The inequity became apparent at a very young age.
The other reason for my desire to become involved with the YWRC was my experience as a teen mom. I found out I was pregnant in January of my senior year of high school. Like many expectant mothers, I had terrible morning sickness which resulted in school absences and getting dropped from my classes. I had always been a successful student and involved in many extra-curricular activities. I was devastated. One person, my counselor, stepped forward and made a difference in my life. He found a way for me to complete the single course I needed to graduate and made sure that I could participate in both prom and commencement.
I tried to attend college immediately after having my daughter but was not successful. I had tremendous support from my family, but juggling a full-time job, an infant and school was too much at that time. I went back to school a couple years later. Without the support of my family, I would have given up.
Instead, I got the associate’s degree in accounting and right as I was graduating, the YWRC was hiring for a position that required a two-year accounting degree. I felt like the stars had aligned, and I was where I was supposed to be. I could be a role model for other teen moms. I could be part of that support system that helps them follow their dreams.
Today, sharing in the daily successes of clients is still my favorite part of working at the YWRC. The graduation announcements, the baby pictures, the new jobs and the many other things that may seem insignificant to the outside world should be celebrated as major achievements. Watching so many amazing young women experience new things and gain confidence in themselves has and will always fill my heart with joy.