Finding Your Way to Help Those in Need

Jaime prof photoRonald Reagan once said, “We can’t help everyone, but everyone can help someone.” Jaime Dixon, ’06, has found a unique way to help others in need by serving as a grant writer. She graduated from the University of Central Florida in 2006 with a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and a minor in Women’s Studies. She has spent many years working with those who are less fortunate, and she describes her path to becoming a grant writer as a winding road.

While at UCF, Dixon was involved in the American Psychological Association and also worked for the UCF Health Center on an anti-sex and drug campaign for incoming freshman.  She describes her best memory at UCF as not just being one single moment, but rather based on all of the friendships she made and still has even after all of these years.

“Some of my best friends are from UCF. I met one of my closest friends at the first day of freshman orientation. We lived together for three years during college and she was recently a bridesmaid in my wedding. There are four of us that have stayed tremendously close even as we all moved across the country and the world.”

After graduating from UCF, Dixon went on to study at the University of Rhode Island where she received her master’s degree in human development and family studies. While pursuing her degree, she worked at Rhode Island Children and Family Services as a program and research assistant. Her job was very hands on and her responsibilities included facilitating in the planning, coordination and evaluation of a community prevention program for adolescent girls called, the Ophelia Sessions. The experience she had while working for the Rhode Island Children and Family Services made her realize, that while she greatly enjoyed helping those in need, her skills were better suited for a more behind the scenes way, which eventually led to her work in development.

Dixon currently works for the Catholic Charities of Central Florida as a grant writer. Some of the CFLCC’s services include strengthening families, preventing homelessness, alleviating hunger, providing access to healthcare and assisting refugees. Dixon’s grant proposals help secure funding and achieve budget goals so that the CFLCC can continue to help those that are less fortunate. She also identifies possible corporate, foundation and government grant funding opportunities.  Some of her accomplishments include receiving over $150,000 for free medical clinics and $120,000 of government funding for emergency financial assistance for families at risk of homelessness.

Dixon continues to stay connected to UCF by attending football games and activities throughout the years while her sisters still attended the university. She says the best advice she would give to current students is to follow your dreams, but to also realize that life happens.

“I wish someone had told me that you can make as many plans as you want but recognize that life happens.  Be willing to adjust and just go with it. Sometimes things don’t work out exactly as you had planned and that is okay. ”


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