Sussex Tech Grad is Proud to be Part of Extreme Makeover

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Jessica Carpenter after her senior presentation at Sussex Technical High School last May. Left to right are Jessica Carpenter; Denise Miller, Graphic Arts teacher at Sussex Tech; and Rev. Dale Dunning.

“Do your best with your senior project,” advises 2011 graduate Jessica Carpenter to seniors at Sussex Tech, “because you never know who will eventually see it.”
When Jessica adopted Rev. Dale Dunning’s ministry last year as her client for her senior project, she had no idea where her finished product would end up. Digital Publishing and Design technical area teacher Denise Miller requires her seniors to “adopt” a local non-profit organization and work with them just like a real-world work client to design printed promotional materials for them. Jessica has known Rev. Dale for about eight years and decided to do her senior project putting together promotional materials and designing a logo for the Jusst Sooup Ministries.

In late August, Rev. Dale’s ministry was chosen to be the recipient of an extreme makeover by the ABC network show, “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition.” Jessica was fortunate to be with Rev. Dale when the show’s host, Ty Pennington, surprised her at the Rehoboth Presbyterian Church at Midway, near Rehoboth. She spent most of the next week at the construction site on Route 9, near Coolspring, volunteering her services to help fulfill Rev. Dale’s dream of a place with a commercial kitchen where she can expand her ministry and fix meals for the less fortunate in the community.

“It was no coincidence,” says Jessica, “it is the favor of God.”
The show’s producer first heard of Jessica from Rev. Dale herself. When ABC asked her about people whom she inspired, Jessica was on her list. “See! I can keep a secret!” says Jessica.

Jessica met with producers weeks prior to the big announcement, submitting all of her logo drawings. After Ty Pennington gave the Dunnings the surprise, the show’s creative designer came to Jessica. She was so impressed with Jessica’s creativity that ABC asked her to sign over the rights to the design so that they could use it in the television show. It features a bowl-of-soup design that uses the spoon handle for the “J” of “Jusst” and the steam coming off the soup for the “S” of “Sooup.”

Jessica says she saw her design inside one of the buildings constructed during the makeover. However, she is not permitted to tell exactly how it was used until after the show is broadcast on television. Therefore, the 17-year-old is anxiously waiting for November 18 when the show will be a two-hour Thanksgiving feature on ABC.

“I can’t believe millions of people will see my design on television,” Jessica gleams. “I’m so glad Mrs. Miller encouraged me to do my very best with my senior project. It has opened doors that I never imagined would be available to me.”

So watch ABC on the evening of November 18 to see Jessica’s logo featured on national television. When it does appear on the screen, remember that, “one of Sussex Tech’s graduates did that!”