Bristol Redevelopment & Housing Authority

Bristol Redevelopment & Housing Authority

Resident Spotlight – Ms. Jessica

Jessica has been part of the BRHA community since 2016. Her story is one of trials, tribulations, and heartwarming victories. We want to share Jessica’s story and express how proud we are of her latest accomplishment, receiving her Associates of Applied Science in Nursing!

Jessica was born in Hawaii. Shortly before her first birthday, she was placed in foster care. As most know, foster care is not always the safe haven it is intended to be. As she began to get older, and adoption seemed less likely, she started making plans for aging out of the system. Dreaming of becoming a nurse and being in charge of her own life became her main focus. At the age of twelve, those dreams took a detour when Jessica was adopted by a military family and moved to the mainland.

Jessica went on to have two sons, meet the love of her life and have a daughter. Together she and her partner created a stable life for themselves and their children. Dedicating her life to God was something her younger self would have never imagined. Tragically in 2013, Jessica lost her partner to a horrific accident and again faced instability and uncertainties. Holding to her new faith, she began to devise a plan for the future.

Working as a Personal Care Aide (PCA) after high school and later receiving her medical assistant certification, Jessica found her niche. Before finding her new faith, early hardships had taken her off track. Knowing that success would require making positive choices that would improve her life and the lives of her children, Jessica began to focus on continuing her education. She began her ongoing education by using Elevate Virginia to obtain her Certified Nurse Aide (CNA) and then entered the Nurse Ready Program at Virginia Highlands Community College (VHCC). Jessica attributes her educational success to Ben King. who introduced her to the VHCC Great Expectations Program that provides support for students who were formerly in foster care. The program offers the resources needed to give students who have come from difficult circumstances a hand up.

In 2021, Jessica applied for the Nursing Program, but all openings had been filled. By chance, at the beginning of the semester, a spot opened, and Jessica was accepted to the program. While attending school, she continued to be an amazing mother and held jobs as a PRN CNA in rehabs, home healthcare and long-term care facilities. In May of 2024, Jessica received her Associates of Applied Science in Nursing degree. Preparing to take the National Council Licensure Examination for licensure as an entry-level registered nurse is her primary objective. We are so proud of Jessica and her achievements. We cannot wait to see what is next!

“You may encounter many defeats, but you must not be defeated. In fact, it may be necessary to encounter the defeats so you can know who you are, what you can rise from, how you can still come out of it.” – Maya Angelou