Student Spotlight: Dallas Jessup

Vanderbilt University - Publication
Student Spotlight: Dallas Jessup

Vanderbilt sophomore Dallas Jessup already has a resume that many would envy.

Her high school community service project has grown into a worldwide nonprofit called Just Yell Fire with a message to protect young women against sexual assault, predators and human trafficking. “The Vanderbilt faculty and administration encourage us to live high-impact lives,” Jessup says.

Jessup, a communication studies and political science double major, founded Just Yell Fire in 2006. The organization teaches young women ages 11 to 19 personal safety awareness and street-fighting skills to help them avoid and get out of attack situations. Jessup, an expert martial artist, has been named a CNN Hero.

This spring, she testified about her project during Congressional hearings on human rights. Helping her prepare were M.L. Sandoz, a senior lecturer in communications studies; Mark Dalhouse, director of the Office of Active Citizenship and Service; and Christina West, assistant vice chancellor for federal relations.

“If you make self defense, personal rights awareness and danger avoidance a mandatory part of health class and PE every year for every teen girl – within a few years you will have the most powerful generation of young women in history,” Jessup said during the hearings.