It’s hard to find the words to perfectly articulate the brilliant beacon of light that was our girl, Jessy. She was the only person I knew who could turn a piece of wood into a beautiful centerpiece or make a shirt from a flea market that looked like a newspaper the most fashionable article of clothing in the room. A published illustrator, an all American athlete, and the best professional advice giver. She was a genuine and compassionate person, always putting others before herself. Resilient, compassionate, driven, hilarious, athletic, creative, sarcastic, independent, humble... I could go on forever and there still wouldn’t be nearly enough ways to describe this incredible human I was so lucky to call my best friend. I’m beyond blessed to have had her by my side through the most formative years of my life. I could always lean on Jessy when I needed help, wisdom, input, love advice or literally just needed to share something gross with someone who I knew wouldn’t judge me... there aren’t many people like that in this world. Jessy was my comedic relief, biggest hype woman, shoulder to cry on, and person I could call or text at the drop of hat when I needed support. She always pushed me to be my best self and supported me through all of life’s milestones and endeavors. Jessy will always be remembered for her stunning and talented artwork that touched people all over the world - from her unique doodles to her print making and everything in between. Her imaginative and whimsical work was unlike any other. She created a cartoon series which incorporated inspirational messages about body positivity and female empowerment. She was also a published illustrator for a variety of magazines. Jessy will also be remembered for her athleticism and fierce determination when it came to running. She inspired me and many others to run and break personal barriers that seemed impossible. I’ll never forget when we took a road trip to run a half marathon in Indianapolis. After we crossed the finish line and met up with each other, I watched Jessy without hesitation take off her medal and donate it to a stand nearby that was collecting medals for a children’s hospital. Her selflessness was always so admirable and her generosity for others knew no bounds. When it came to race time, Jessy was a force to be reckoned with. Setting numerous records at SCAD, shattering her PRs, and hitting personal goals she would regularly set for herself - she truly was unstoppable. No one will ever make me laugh as hard as she could, to the point where I would be attacking people around me gasping for air at her hilarity. Jessy was always her authentic, unapologetic self, embracing her weird and taking pride in who she was. She made others, including myself, feel comfortable in their skin and inspired people to be who they truly are. Jessy valued the important things in life like people and places, warm cookies, freshly picked wild flowers, and rainstorms. She wasn’t interested in lavish or expensive things, so it didn’t surprise me how she lived out of two suitcases with no AC. She was a thrifter, a traveler, and the best “bad” dancer - there was never a dull moment with this girl. She was always down for random adventures or trying something new. I see her in nature’s beauty all the time now and remind myself the importance of stopping to smell the flowers the way she always did. If Jessy were to leave this earth in any way, I’m not surprised it was because of her big beautiful heart. I keep telling myself that hearts made of gold aren’t sustainable  on earth... only in heaven. I love you forever and always will Jessy ❤️. Sincerely, Claire Jaeger

It is impossible to think of Jessy without thinking of how we became friends. We were in the same first grade class at Butterfield school, but my only memories of her there were being partners when our classroom chicks hatched (our chick kept pecking at her signature birthmark) and when she tried drowning me at Adler pool (a story that she would still deny to this day). Then the “great divorce of 99” brought us to different houses and different schools. Our friendship didn’t truly blossom until what we used to call “that fateful day”, when Jessy wandered up to my lunch table on the first day of freshman year and asked if she could sit with us. Of course, at the time I had no idea how significant that moment would be. What followed was over a decade of friendship, “beybe dates”, and memories that I will forever treasure. Whether it was our first horrific experience with alcohol, getting in trouble in Spanish class, staying up until dawn giggling at a sleepover, or simply sitting on the couch watching trash tv, there was truly never a dull moment when Jessy and I were together. I am thankful that our friendship left me a lifetime of inside jokes, warm memories, and “Jessy-isms” to get me through until we meet again. Paige Nordland-Harrington

Jessy gives me the feeling of home. Every time i saw her it felt like home-like everything was how it should be. She is a piece of me and when we were together things just felt like they should. I remember even when I was so little in kindergarten how much I looked forward to our play dates. We had the best time together always. So happy. Laughing. We were so similar we just understood each other in a way that I was lucky to experience. Jess made me feel happy and optimistic. When I was having a bad day I could spend time with her and be taken out of whatever bad or sad space I was in and just enjoy every moment with her. She made everything better and provided clarity to everything. Her sense of humor and sarcasm would fix everything. No matter how our lives changed we always fit together perfectly... we would always say our friendship always picked up right where it left off and talked about how lucky we were to have that... I know even more now than I did then how lucky that was. Jessy changed me for the better. She made me confident in who I am, confident in weirdness. Confident in being myself. To be brave. To understand what I am worth. She taught me how to be sarcastic and we had some of our funniest “bad” experiences together. Jess taught me what it’s like to have a best friend and to be a best friend. That special bond I will forever be grateful for. Michelle Loftus

Jessy made such a positive impact on both my coaching career and my life. When she approached me about running on the collegiate team I coached, I was a young, new coach and had a feeling she would develop into a very good runner. Her work ethic, commitment to the sport, fun loving attitude, and lead by example approach were the characteristics that lead to her being a national caliber runner. More importantly, her fun loving attitude and sense of humor lead to her being the best teammate. Jessy became an irreplaceable friend of mine and I miss her every day. Patrick Reagan (Coach P)

It should come as no surprise that Jessy made a splash in the NYC running scene by winning a July 4th road race a couple months after arriving in 2016. Having competed ‘unattached’ – not affiliated with a team – Whippets cofounder Matt Wong reached out to her via social media to see if she would be interested in joining us. Having unsuccessful experiences with other running clubs, she joined us for a few runs and joined the team. And we are so grateful she decided to make us part of her NYC journey. Jessy carried her fierce, competitive spirit from college to the roads, tracks and trails of NYC running races from the mile to half marathon. She was the first Whippet to win a New York Road Runner event by winning the 5000m at NYRR Night at the Races in January 2017. She also immediately asserted herself as one of the team’s best runners finishing in the top five – a scoring position – in nearly every NYRR points race that summer. NYC is home to some of the best runners and teams in the country and her addition helped maintain our top 3 standing in the city so much so that we named her team MVP at the end of the year. But Jessy didn’t simply impress us with her running ability. She was also ‘different’ than most of us. Mentally, runners can be a rigid group. Sure, runners are a socially welcoming bunch since we all appreciate, in our own way, the struggles to be a runner. However, our training focus often boxes us in since we plan everything out in such detail to achieve a specific goal: daily exercise to food to bedtime. Similarly, many of our professional lives revolve around that same specificity whether they be in finance, medicine, teaching, etc. Jessy was different. She was a creative. Drawing. Writing. And, for some (like myself), it confused us but also intrigued us. Most runners don’t have that “side” of our brain, so we lived vicariously through her drawings and writings. Whether it be doodles in her sketchbook to professional drawings, she made us appreciate and laugh at the little things we runners often don’t see. Not only could Jessy draw, she was also quite witty in written word, too. Strava is a social media app where activities are uploaded then athletes can title those activities and others can comment on them. And it’s in the activity “title” where Jessy thrived. Writing about one of her final NYC runs before heading back for a semester at SCAD, “jumping over trash and poo… ah, NY I’ll miss you.” Whether at SCAD or in NY, always thanking and supporting teammates with runs entitled “Lemi making long runs possible, yet again” and “Good luck Boston bravies”. And then there were simple comedic ones like “it’s a ‘pool of sweat in my belly button’ kinda morning”, “realizing it’s Halloween, realizing I’m old and don’t care”, and “back in the motherland, while mother bikes.” Jessy certainly had a way with words, too. Jessy will always be part of the Dashing Whippets family and forever in our hearts. Coach Chris “40” Forti

It was a cool crisp fall day and Jessy and I were walking from our apartment on 107th street to our yoga class. This was my favorite day of the week usually. It always meant I got to spend time with her, even if we were just peacefully stretching and focusing on our breathing. My yoga mat was falling apart from too much use, and Jessy always laughed when I left a giant rectangle stamp of purple foam debri at the end of class. I remember Jessy always being so graceful and peaceful like a flamingo with all of her poses. We would look out the window at the other buildings, until turning sideways to get a view of Mcdonalds and honking cars. Our yoga instructor told us to lay down on our backs and put our feet in our hands like a baby, and to let out a deep breath. Some man in the class takes it upon himself to yell HAAWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWW and Jessy had to completely lay down on her mat because she was laughing so hard. Her laughter was so contagious, and I started laughing, along with the entire room - and this place was donation based in NYC, so it was a PACKED studio. The people in the back probably didn't even know what they were laughing at. After getting out of class, Jessy liked to make fun of the final poem they told at the end of class, by adding her own spin on it. We usually went to Silver Moon bakery for a nice cookie and croissant, but today was special, and Jessy wanted to go to a famous bagel place called Absolute Bagels. We had done our research beforehand, and were well prepared for the line of eternity. I was ready to go home and scarf down my famous bagel in peace, but Jessy insisted that we go sit at the nearest bench we could find. We sat down and Jessy pointed out a small wooden sign that looked like it could have been made by fairies. On it, was horrifically painted in all caps in fire red "RAT HOLE" with an arrow. We could NOT stop laughing, and Jessy was a sight to see with her gigantic proper New York bagel with a tiny bit of cream cheese on her jacket. Jessy, always with her unlimited energy, wanted to go to central park, still carrying our yoga mats like we were New York city elite. We did some handstands which we could never do in the studio because it was too crowded. Jessy claimed she would clock someone in the head coming down from a handstand. We eventually just laid down and talked about how cool it would be to have our own art show in NYC. She would do the flowers, I would pick the food. We even looked up a few places online to rent for a day and would continue to send them back and forth during that week. After landing on a place that was discounted in China Town because it didn't even have a door, we then switched to sending the most expensive absurd places to rent. These types of mornings were my favorite. We had the whole Saturday ahead of us, would probably have some drinks later, and we were just on top of the world...at least until Monday. I will miss Jessy's laugh the most. She would just find a way to make everything funny, which is a true superpower, especially in today's world. I don't think I would have survived NYC without her..or Savannah! I am the person I am today because of Jessy and I will remember her always. Hannah Lieberman

My fondest moment of Jessy is one that illustrates her humble nature. Years back, Jessy and I were both working for a publication called Garden Collage. I admired her work from afar but we didn’t get to speak often because I was on the other side of the country. She always had a way with art that made me smile (And I’m extremely picky when it comes to my taste in art!) Lucky me, our co-worker Andreana called me one day and said “I think you should work with Jessy on Just Girl! She’s way too shy to bring it up and doesn’t want to be forward but I think she’d be super into it!” This was the conversation that started it all. I rang Jessy up out of the blue and asked her to work for me, illustrating girl power graphics for my project The Just Girl Project! She was so gracious and excited about the opportunity! She kept saying “Thank you so much for giving me this opp.” Meanwhile I was just elated that someone so talented and lovely would want to work with little old me. Jessy and I worked together for 3 years, we brainstormed imagery together, shared ideas, laughed, and got excited as people shared Jessy’s beautiful art all over social media. It was such a wonderful feeling to be able to inspire so many. To this day I see thousands of girls sharing Jessy’s art because it moves and humbles them and I ALWAYS tell them that in 3 years Jessy and I never got into a disagreement, we never didn’t see eye to eye, and we never had any issues PERIOD. Why? Because she was selfless, humble, gracious, and kind. She wanted the world to smile and her presence and art did just that. I miss you Jessy. You will always be my creative guardian angel. Thank you for inspiring us all. Ilana Strom Harkavy

Jessy Scarpone has been an influential part of my life for so long. I first had the pleasure of meeting Jessy in the 3rd grade at Rondout school. Jessy was the first person I met after moving into Libertyville. Rondout was a new school for me and I was eager to make a new friend. Jessy and I were both new that year and as an 8 year old girl, talking to another new student seemed less scary than talking to the other students. Our 3rd grade teacher, Mrs. Skoien asked us to come up in front of the class and introduce ourselves. At that moment, I was terrified. I hated having attention on me in the classroom, but I remember Jessy being so unphased by it. She was so calm and cool. I admired that. On the first day of school, I shadowed Jessy. I put my cubby next to her cubby and I sat next to her. I even asked her to be my partner. This was something I had never done before. As a child, I never had the confidence to ask other kids to play with me. I struggled with the fear of rejection. Jessy, however, made it easy for me to ask her to be my friend. Her aura radiated confidence and I wanted to be a part of that. She was cool and I knew that I had to be friends with her. As we grew up, Jessy and I would make jokes on how I made her be my friend Although it was slightly true, I'm glad I did because we were able to create decades of memories together. I will always remember Jessy as the friend I grew up with. The friend who is family. She was my sister. Jessy was always on my side encouraging and fostering me to become myself. She gave me experiences that I would not have discovered without her. Jessy was the first person to challenge my creative side. At such a young age, Jessy was already an incredible artist. Her work amazed me. After school, we would spend hours doodling together. I would watch her work her magic with her artistic techniques. She would inspire me to create. When we were about 9 years old, we were obsessed with interior makeovers We would draw floor plans with our ideas on how to decorate our bedrooms. On my birthday, Jessy gifted me some decorative pillows that she made for my bedroom. She told me that she wanted my room to feel cozy and cute. That was the first time I experienced someone giving me a thoughtful gift, something from the heart. It was a good feeling. I thought to myself: Wow, she MADE this for ME? I felt so special and cool. To this day, I still have those decorative pillows on my bed. I want to share the feeling Jessy instilled in me with other people. Jessy taught me how to make people feel special by creating something with one’s hands. To show them the labor of love through creative expression was something that cannot have a price tag. I'm glad for this experience with Jessy because she taught me to love harder than before. I wasn't the only person Jessy made feel this way. She had a charm to her that shined and a personality so contagious that you wanted to be around her. She always made you feel good She always restored confidence that was lost. She could turn a bad day into the funniest day ever. She did this effortlessly because all she had to do was be her true genuine self and that could brighten the day of anyone. Not only was Jessy a friend who always made me feel good, but she was a friend who grew with me as well. Jessy was the friend I always did ’firsts’ with. She was the first person I talked to boys with, the first person I stayed up late with, and the first person I had secrets with. The most impactful first with Jessy was when she invited me to go jump on the trampoline. After that first day, the trampoline became a place where we would discover a sport so challenging on our bodies yet so fun, we were dedicated nearly 10 years to it. The trampoline became a place where we tested new tricks , pushed ourselves to limits, and challenged each other to do our best. We were each other's cheerleaders from the beginning. We were always excited for one another when accomplishing new tricks. When we both got our back handspring down we were so happy we couldn't stop doing them. It was truly the time of my life practicing this sport with Jessy. I learned dedication, discipline, and that my body could do weird things and go in weird positions. I never met another person in my life who had so much discipline and was truly dedicated. I loved this so much about her. Jessy would always try her hardest in anything she did no matter what. Her artwork and track career are just some of the tiny examples of how Jessy showed true dedication. If she put her mind to something, then her mind was up and she was going for the challenge. Nothing seemed to scare her. She was tough. I should mention she beat my high school boyfriend in an arm wrestling contest. Oh man, was I proud of her that day! Jessy, I could go on all day talking about memories I made with you. There are hundreds upon hundreds that are sacred in my heart. Memories that make me laugh, cry, feel happy and feel sad. I can't understand why the universe took you so soon. If you ask me, it wasn’t fair. I feel like your life was just getting started, that the potential you created was ready to blossom to its fullest. You were a ROCKSTAR. I am so outrageously grateful for the time I had to spend with you while you were here. I am forever grateful to have had a friend so loyal, so thoughtful , so creative, so disciplined, so funny , so genuine, and so caring Thank you for being the sister I never had and the therapist my mom never paid for. Thank you for being the friend that was always down to do something new and exciting, the friend who had no problem pretending to be eastern European for hours without breaking character, and the friend who always had me laughing til it was painful. Thank you for always listening to me when I was down and for making me feel better about myself. Thank you for always giving the most genuine advice and always sticking up for me when people were mean. Thank you for encouraging me to do better, to create more , and to try my hardest at everything that crossed my path. Thank you for being my cheerleader. Thank you for farting in my bathroom that one day in third grade and saying that it smelled like the corn beef patties from school lunch and creating the longest running inside joke in the history of friendships. Thank you for being so nice to my family, especially Cyrus. Your kindness towards him was a gift when so many kids were impatient with him. Thank you for always making time to see me even when your schedule was so tight. Thank you for making it like not a day had passed since the last time we had seen each other. Thank you for always being you and never letting anyone change you. Thank you for letting me choose you as a friend and thank you for sticking by my side for so many years. Thank you for being in my life, Jessy. I miss you everyday, and life without you legit kinda sucks but I am so happy for our time together and I would not change it for anything I love you Jessy. Thanks for being my bestie. Love you biffle xoxox Minah Ganjani

I haven’t had the words for how life has hit me, and quite frankly changed my life. And I really wasn’t ready to talk about it until right now. Last week, I lost not only my teammate, but my best friend. Let me tell you. She wasn’t just any ordinary friend. She was someone very special. To not just me but anyone who knew her. Story Time. I was recruited to SCAD my senior year of high school. I got on the phone with the head coach who wouldn’t stop bragging about Jessy Scarpone (who was graduating) convincing me my running career could be similar to hers. Our training plans matched up. We both thrived on the added distance. Little did we know, she would soon be my training partner. After my third year at SCAD, Coach said he “has a special surprise for us” Jessy still had eligibility for one more season. After just a few meets during Cross season Jessy Scarpone, Tess St John, Diana Gorin and I became really close of friends. Later after we made it to Nationals, (We wouldn’t have done it without Jessy) we had another surprise; that Jessy had Track season as well. As I trained for my first half marathon, Jessy was right by my side. She pushed me to do my longest long runs ever. She paced my first half marathon, after running a 10k already. (She ran like 25 miles total that day 😂) she was so encouraging when I wanted to give up, yet still so sweet. We trained more for my second half. (Which she ended up pacing me for that one as well before rushing to work) A memory I’ll have forever is my first 17 miles on the Tybee beach with her. It was one of my happiest, freest moments. It was early right at sunrise. We took our shoes off at about 12 miles. We ran along the edge of the water and under the pier. We both felt great and she was so so fast that her last few miles she was kicking it at under 7 minute pace. I told her to go because she was hanging with me the entire long run, because she was so selfless she wouldn’t leave me behind. And we ran under the pier and some guy yelled at me from above to go catch her and I told her after: “He must not know you are Jessy Scarpone Obviously!” After the run we decided to stay on the beach and relax but it was pretty chilly and we were wet from running along the water. She gave me her tank she was wearing because she claimed she wasn’t cold. (Which I still have) We ended up leaving the beach and going to get breakfast at a coffee shop Fox and Fig, where we would enjoy many more post long run meals and my last meal with her. It’s really been a hard couple of weeks. We talked days before about her coming back to Savannah and making plans. But through this heartache I have learned so much from her. To never take anyone or anything for granted. Life is so special and so short and we forget sometimes. Jessy did not take her life nor was it expected. And it could have been anyone. Someone so healthy and so young. So special. So unique. It feels unfair. Unreal. But I feel so grateful to have had such a great friend. And that is why it is important to treat people kindly. Text people back. Call. Because I miss her so dearly but the memories I can cherish. ❤️ Love you “Jessy Scarponey with the high Pony”