Having completed the manuscript for her debut memoir, Cover My Dreams in Ink, Jessie Dunleavy is working with a literary agent in seeking a publisher and finds herself increasingly taking on the role of activist with the national overdose epidemic as her cause, joining like-minded groups, contributing opinion editorials, and lending her voice in community forums, broadcast interviews, and through social media.
Her work as a school administrator for thirty years entailed community outreach as well as written communication, including newsletters, website content, and a blog in which she offered general parenting advice on a wide range of topics. She has a master’s degree in library and information science and worked as an academic librarian for nearly a decade prior to having her two children, Keely and Paul, and devoting herself to full-time motherhood for several years. Throughout her career, she has been recognized for her communication skills, both spoken and written, along with her influence as an opinion leader.
After retiring in 2016, she welcomed the opportunity to focus exclusively on her family, enjoying her daughter’s wedding and helping her son become situated in a new job and his first apartment. While she is thankful that the reprieve from a demanding job aligned with this segment of her life, retirement didn’t entirely suit her. In addition to her memoir, her activism—inspired by all she learned through her son’s tragic death in 2017—aims to provide advocacy for those who suffer with a substance use disorder, and draw attention to the impediments to needed reform. Active in community affairs, including membership in the Maryland Harm Reduction Action Network, the Annapolis Substance Abuse Coalition, and the Healthy Communities Transition Team for the County Executive, she also is an advocate for her cause within the Maryland General Assembly.
She lives in her hometown, Annapolis, Maryland.