About Us

Under the UmbrellaOur Purpose

Hi, we’re Mandy and Jess, and we can’t imagine a better way to spend a rainy day than sitting by the window, listening to the rain coming down, and having conversations with our best friends. For the two of us, these sorts of moments – discussing politics, current events, or our favorite books – are some of the most entertaining and fulfilling parts of our day. However, we find that these moments are too rare in our daily lives. Not everybody enjoys these sorts of conversations, but for those of us who treasure them, we wanted to create an environment in which everybody is encouraged to share their opinions and debate topics that are relevant to all of our lives, yet considered too sophisticated for teenagers to discuss on their own. There are so many issues in the world today, both in our hometowns and far overseas, that many people believe students our age are not, or shouldn’t be interested in.

Our hope is that through our writing, we can spark an interest or foster a desire to think about our lives in new ways. The topics we write about may be controversial, but we think that it’s important for kids our age to be exposed to these sorts of ideas so that we may begin to to form our own opinions as we grow.

That being said, our writing will be inadvertently biased, but we try to consider all points of view before we post our thoughts. In the comment sections, feel free to leave your thoughts, but please try to be respectful to ours and everybody else’s opinions. We try our hardest not to hurt anyone’s feelings, and we hope that you share the same courtesy.

As much as we love to talk about politics, and social issues, we also want to use this opportunity to share some of our other interests, so that you can get to know us even better!

If you would like to contact us please email us at: ourumbrellas@gmail.com . We would love to hear from you so don’t be shy!

Our Writers 

Mandy: 

Hey guys! I’m Mandy, and I cannot express just how happy I am that you are all reading Jess and I’s blog. Thank you so much.

I love to read and write, and I look forward to sharing all of my favorite bookish things and writing rants with all of you. Since I was little, I have always been writing about my ideas, and I have been constantly searching for a place to share those thoughts with others who were interested in some of the same things as me. There is no better forum than a blog, a censor free zone where anyone can publish their beliefs.

I have an obsession with quotes, a deep love for music, and a book buying problem. I also have a strange and incomprehensible love for foreign languages and too many copies of Avatar scattered around my house (“It’s true”- Jess). I’m that nerd that went to go see Captain America Civil War twice in it’s opening week, and owns Divergent in three different languages. Yes, I’m that person.

Without a doubt, I am happiest when I am traveling, and I cannot wait to explore as much of the globe as I can. I have the amazing opportunity to study abroad in France for a semester next year, and I absolutely cannot wait!

My biggest life goal: become a polyglot (Someone who speaks 5 or more languages) I want to learn French, Spanish, Italian, Russian, Japanese, and ASL. So far, I’m decently fluent-ish in French, learning Spanish in school, can say one phrase in both Italian and Russian, and I know how to sign the lyrics to “Fight Song” in ASL. I hope to one day use these language skills and my passion for learning about international issues as a foreign service officer.

Mandy Signature

Jess: 

Hey fam, I’m Jessie (aka Jess), and I’m my mom’s favorite. Writing is not my biggest interest, but when Mandy texted me late one night asking if I was interested in starting a blog with her I thought, this is never going to become a reality so I’ll just say yes. Well unfortunately Mandy is much more motivated than me and I now have a blog with her.

The thing I love most in this world is Harry Styles, sorry mom! The Sound of Music, Pride and Prejudice, the Mount Washington Hotel, feminism, learning, sleeping, being honest and direct, cannolis, and volunteering, follow closely behind. Similarly to most other Generation Z’ers, I want to travel a lot. I think new cultures are one of the most important things we can be exposed to. At the moment, my country count is 3, but I can’t wait for that number to climb.

When I grow up I’d love to be a Human Rights Lawyer that travels internationally. The human rights issue I’m most interested in is Human Trafficking because it restricts freedom and individual potential, both things I find to be most important. I first read about human trafficking in Half the Sky by Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn and ever since I’ve been motivated to help as best I can.

I grew up with two older siblings Christina and Bobby, and a younger brother Brendan. Those three are my best friends and I love them dearly. I hope to someday get matching sibling tattoos with them, but Christina doesn’t want one so that dream is dead.

My real name is actually Jessica, but I am also referred to as Jessie and Jess. I sign my name Jessica, my family and childhood friends call me Jessie, and my friends now call me Jess. I personally love nicknames. I have about 9 nicknames for Brendan and at least one for everyone of my friends. In fact, one of my friends and I have a long list of nicknames for various boys in our grade, ranging from Harry Potter to Marlin.

I hope you enjoy this blog as much as Mandy and I enjoy it. So come on, and sit under our umbrella. That was gross, I’m sorry.

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