Profile picture and text: 50 FOR 50 STORIES: Story #45: Sarah ElmashatStory #45: Sarah Elmashat

Without our Program Assistant Coordinator, Sarah Elmashat, our JEP Programs would not be able to serve the thousands of students it does today.

Sarah, a human development and aging student on the pre-med track, oversees the work of all program assistants at JEP and makes sure that they, along with their students, are on a path towards success.

With this year being the first year since 2019 where all of our programs are fully in-person, we need a strong and capable leader to guide our tutors through the transition. Luckily, we found that through Sarah.

“I really like developing a relationship with each of the PAs. It’s been awesome to step away from working directly with students and start working with our staff here at JEP. We have an amazing staff here and it’s been awesome to see them work and create a problem-solving environment with them.” said Elmashat. “[This semester] we transitioned fully in-person, there have been a couple of issues, but it’s been really awesome to see how everyone’s able to problem solve and work together.”

In addition to working together in-person, the end of our hybrid modality has brought about new experiences and fun activities for our students. One being our annual training in Palm Springs, which many of our tutors experienced for the first time this past August.

“At the end of training, on the first day, I brought all the PAs together and did a little scavenger hunt around the hotel. It’s been really awesome to start new traditions and look at the old traditions.” said Elmashat.

In addition to the scavenger hunt, Elmashat reminisces on the PAs staying up all night talking, laughing, and just getting to know each other. Additionally, she adds that old PAs visited during training and shared their experiences with the new trainees. This is exemplary of her favorite part of JEP – the JEP family.

“The JEP family is what I think sets apart JEP from pretty much any other organization on campus.” added Elmashat Along with forging these familial relationships, Elmashat also keeps JEP’s service-learning mission at the core of her work as Program Assistant Coordinator.

“There are hundreds of organizations on campus that kind of do some similar things. But JEP is the only thing that takes things a lot further. There’s no other service learning organization on campus that does what we do. The reflective work is so important. I see that people volunteering with JEP are able to progress and learn through the reflective work…They’re able to see that all their students come from different backgrounds and are then able to see their different perspectives. I think it’s really cool that the students are able to reflect and learn from their experiences.” said Elmashat.

Elmashat says that JEP has always helped her grow and develop as a leader. At the beginning of the semester, Elmashat feared public speaking. Now, she leads weekly meetings with all the PA’s. Even after she graduates and leaves JEP, she will carry these leadership and team-building skills throughout her career as a physician.