The Avid Reader

Name: Ryan Dunleavy

Location: Whippany, New Jersey

Relationship to Jessica:  Friend

Jess and I met in elementary school and remained friends.

Jessica & Ryan in High School


My first memory of Jess isn’t the kind of funny/embarrassing story that high school friends will tell over and over again as the years go by. I have plenty of those, but I prefer this one:

At Salem Drive Elementary School, classes broke into reading groups once a day. I hated reading groups until one day when Jess — who already was known as the smartest kid in class — convinced me otherwise. I don’t remember exactly what she said, but I know I’ve always secretly credited her for generating my interest in reading in a way that my teachers could not. I guess I listened to her because her intelligence, maturity and ambition was something to be envious of even back then.

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  1. Bill Williams says

    Ry – I couldn’t agree more.

    I struggled terribly in our Calc class senior year of high school and wanted nothing to do with it. But it was so incredible to see Jess take a complicated proof and effortlessly draw out the solution on the board. I’ve never seen a person process complex mathematics so well. Jess sparked my interest and encouraged me to keep trying. I ended up becoming a finance major! She really was a motivator.