As the Associate Director of Student Advocacy, Jessica supports students facing challenges in various areas including mental & physical health, family relationship, housing & food security, and academic concerns. Additionally, Jessica manages the LEAD emergency and scholarship funding to help address students’ financial concerns. She works to develop partnerships on and off campus to advocate for the needs for first- generation college students.
Originally from Bakersfield CA, Jessica attended California Lutheran University and obtained her bachelor’s degree. Jessica worked for nearly 8 years in the mental health field before she decided to pursue her master’s degree. She went on to obtain her master’s degree in Social Work from Rutgers University with a focus on clinical work and supporting trauma survivors. Upon graduating from her Social Work program, Jessica spent nearly 3 years as the Case Manager at the Cowell Center. During this time, she connected students to resources in the community and worked with students to address their mental and physical health needs. Jessica, also, partnered with LEAD to deliver presentations and resources focused on mental health. As a first-generation college student herself, Jessica is excited to be supporting first-gen. students in the LEAD Scholar Program.
In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with her husband and their dog, traveling to national parks, reading, making cheese boards, and being in nature.