Twenty year old Jessica Dill-Emerson’s passion for working with children is what is driving her to earn her Bachelors degree in Psychology/Social Work with a minor in Child Development. She is currently attending Fresno City College in Fresno, California.
Jessica has always enjoyed being around children. As a Junior in high school she worked in the after-school program and that’s where she confirmed that this was the career path she wanted to take. She is currently working at Gymboree, a children’s clothing store in Fresno. She says, ”I enjoy interacting with the parents and new mothers. I just love babies and children.”
School and work keep Jessica busy, but she also finds time to volunteer with the gang prevention club called Act of Violence which helps young African American males “stop the violence.” She says, “I was concerned about the statistics of African American males who get into trouble and commit acts of violence, so I volunteer to help make a difference.“ In addition, she volunteers for the annual Junteenth Celebration and the Breast Cancer Awareness Marathon. Jessica even finds time to satisfy her love for sports by playing club and intramural rugby and volleyball.
College has been a learning experience for Jessica in many ways. She says, “I’ve learned it’s hard to live on your own and it’s important to ask for help if you’re struggling – in class or where ever. I no longer hold in my feelings, I speak my mind and find it keeps me from being stressed. I also know the importance of being selective in choosing my friends. My Mother helped me a lot with that one.” Jessica’s advises new college students not to spend all your financial aid at one time – eat noodles if you have to. Most importantly DO NOT miss school because it‘s very hard to catch up.
A strict upbringing by her Mother is what Jessica attributes to her drive to be successful. At one time she thought her Mother was too hard on her, but now she understands it was all for her good. She recalls, “I had to sign a personal contract in high school and agree to maintain a certain GPA or face certain consequences. I appreciate that now because it helped prepare me for the real world and kept me from being influenced by others.”
Jessica admits that when she first went to college she got distracted by the “college life“ and struggled. However, now she says, “I value God more now. Since I committed to serving Him, good things are happening in my life. I am more bold in my witness and I am not ashamed to share God with the people I know. I can really apply the word to my life.“ Finding a good church home has helped Jessica want to go to church, even without her Mother telling her to go(even tough she still gets on me about going) .
One of Jessica’s biggest challenges so far was having to withdraw from Fresno State because her math grades were too low and facing that she has a learning disability but with the help of her counselor she is getting that extra help that she needs for her classes . Instead of giving up and not believing in herself, she faced this challenge head on. She is working hard to reach her goal, make up the classes she needs and transfer back to Fresno State to graduate. She is determined that she will get the education she needs to be able to help children. Jessica knows that with God all things are possible.
Jessica will no doubt give God the glory when she realizes her dreams in spite of what it looks like right now. Her hard work and faith in God will be a shining testimony of the awesome God she serves!