As a second-generation Mexican-American, Jessica feels inclined to support immigrant communities in navigating the systems of a new country while striving for social equity. Jessica's family moved around Richmond, Virginia for a few years before landing in rural Montpelier, Virginia, where Jessica's love for nature continued to grow as did the gardens around this home.
She graduated from George Mason University in 2017 with a Bachelor's degree in Global Affairs with concentrations in the Environment and International Development. Prior to joining the HAF team, Jessica fostered her love of the outdoors with a job at REI and worked towards social equity by working with local non-profits serving the needs of immigrants, like interpretative services and family literacy programs. Most recently, Jessica worked with the U.S. Forest Service in Lakewood, Colorado through a rigorous internship program in which she served the community by engaging with partners to provide opportunities for underrepresented communities to engage with and steward public lands. She is passionate about re-connecting communities with their innate relationship with nature, which she uses to fuel her work with conservation efforts.