As a first-generation Mexican American, Jessica feels naturally drawn to support immigrant communities in navigating the systems of a new country while striving for social equity. Jessica's family lived near Richmond, Virginia for several years before moving to rural Montpelier, Virginia; there, Jessica's love for nature continued to grow as did the gardens around her family home.
Prior to joining the Hispanic Access team, Jessica nourished her love of the outdoors with a job at REI and worked toward social equity by partnering with local nonprofits serving the needs of immigrants. Projects she worked on included an initiative to provide interpreting services and a family literacy program. Most recently, Jessica worked with the U.S. Forest Service in Colorado through a rigorous internship program in which she engaged with partners to provide opportunities for underrepresented communities to enjoy and steward public lands. She is passionate about re-connecting communities with their innate relationship with nature.
She graduated from George Mason University with a bachelor's degree in global affairs with concentrations in environment and international development.