By Jamie Ong, Caroline Triscik and Jasmine Obeyesekere Fernando

Jamie Ong: Flourishing in NYC with Covid-19

“The flowers are blooming regardless...When I was sick I found hope in my community and how they supported us...Ultimately, all of these things...they come from God. They come from this ultimate hope that we have of restoration and redemption, of all things being made new.” 

— Jamie Ong

Listen in as WAP associates Caroline Triscik and Jasmine Obeyeskere Fernando interview Jamie Ong, Environmental Protection Project Manager at the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation as they discuss nature, faith, family, and enduring Covid-19.

Living in the center of one of the most hard hit areas of the Covid-19 pandemic, Jamie Ong gives us a glimpse of her life as a professional woman working for NYC’s Department of Parks and Recreation, as well as her roles as mother and spouse. Jamie shares how her faith influences her work in the city, especially in restoring nature and making it accessible to all. She continues to seek the welfare of her community as a follower of Jesus in the midst of these challenging times. Additionally, she offers her story of contracting the virus, needing to isolate from her family in their NYC apartment, and her hope for her community to flourish.  

—  Caroline Triscik

About the Author

Jamie Ong, Environmental Protection Project Manager at the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation (NYC Parks), has nearly 20 years of experience in wetland and riparian restoration, watershed planning, and green infrastructure design. At NYC Parks, she is piloting innovative salt marsh restoration techniques, managing conceptual planning for urban stream projects, and developing watershed-wide recommendations for water quality improvement, shorefront access, and citizen engagement.

Jamie holds a BS in Natural Resources from Cornell University, an MPS in Environmental Science from the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry, and an MA in International Relations from the Maxwell School of Public Policy at Syracuse University.

She attends Living Faith Community Church in Flushing, Queens, where she enjoys exploring good food and public parks with her husband and two children.


Caroline served with InterVarsity since 2002 as a campus staff member in northwest Indiana and most recently in central Pennsylvania. She received her bachelor’s degree in English with a focus on creative writing from Purdue University in 2002 and holds a master's degree in clinical mental health counseling from Messiah College. Caroline, her husband, and their three children live in “the sweetest place on earth,” otherwise known as Hershey, Pennsylvania. In her spare time, she likes to read, discover new music, and attempt to train her exuberant Labrador retriever, Pax. Caroline is a clinical mental health counselor and a former associate with Women in the Academy and Professions.

Jasmine is from Colombo, Sri Lanka, where she worked for the IFES affiliated Fellowship of Christian University Students (FOCUS) as a national staff worker, briefly as Acting General Secretary and recently as a Board member. She also worked for the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce. She has a BA (Hons) in English Literature from the University of Peradeniya, Sri Lanka, and a MA in International Relations from Syracuse University. Jasmine’s InterVarsity involvement includes leading the Graduate Christian Fellowship at Syracuse University and chapter planting as a volunteer staffworker at SUNY Albany for GFM. She presently volunteers as Staff Development Specialist to South Asian American Ministries. Jasmine has written for The Well and for Mutuality Magazine. She is married to Guy and is mom to Jayathri and Yannik. Jasmine is a WAP Associate focusing on special projects.

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