This month we’d like you to meet Jessica, our newest intern! Jessica is interning for us remotely from Texas, where she is finishing up her degree from Multnomah University online. Currently she is researching moringa tree production, dairy cow yields in East Africa, farm co-op formation, and education models for children with disabilities, which will help us better serve Local Experts around the world. We’ve enjoyed getting to know Jessica while she’s on the Loom team, and we think you will too.
Loom: Tell us a little bit about yourself.
Jessica: I grew up in Battle Ground across the river from Portland, went to Pacific Lutheran University in Tacoma and graduated with a BS in Biology and BA in Spanish. We have moved at least every 3 years since then: Denver, Bremerton, Tacoma again, Honolulu, Battle Ground again, Portland, and now Kingsville, TX. My husband Robert and I have been married almost 15 years and have four kids ages 3-11.
When my husband was deployed and I had our first child, I learned about single parenting, and that is where my heart started for mothers and their children. In Hawaii I also got to know a lot of moms in tough positions. When we moved back to Portland my husband went to Multnomah and I joined the MAGDJ [Masters in Global Development and Justice] program at Multnomah with his encouragement. We later moved to Texas and I’m finishing online. I couldn’t have done the MAGDJ program without the unwavering support of my husband, kids and my parents.
After becoming a mother and being in grad school, I say, “What are hobbies?” Half joking aside, exercise makes me happy. My husband and I do like to take a 15 minute kombucha break and watch a couple of minutes of Laugh and Gags from Canada when we can. I love the outdoors and everything in the natural world. That is what drew me to study biology. I love to learn about the Lord’s amazing designs and take deep breaths outside. I began with my first bee hives a couple of years ago, and I will talk bee with anyone.
Interesting facts? Well, I was a gymnast for the first 18 years of my life. I’d love to get back in a gym one day and do a few giants on the bars again before leaving this green earth. I still have my grips!
L: How did you first learn about Loom?
J: I first learned about Loom when Colleen came to speak to our class about her work during the first semester of the MAGDJ program [at Multnomah University].
L: What interested you about interning with Loom? What were you hoping would result from what you would learn?
J: Loom does everything that I am interested in, so can I say everything?! My interest and heart have always been for children and mothers in vulnerable positions, and that has been my focus of study in the MAGDJ program. So, working at Loom is such an exciting opportunity! I am amazed at how the Lord brought us together on these projects that fit so perfectly with my background. I have a passion for sustainable food systems, small acre farming, health and nutrition, and how those things can empower mothers and children. A degree in biology while, I just “happen” to have access to an agricultural research library here at Texas A and M University have paved the way for the research that I’m doing.
L: What do you feel you have learned so far from the experience?
J: So far, I have learned that working with Loom is even better than I had hoped. I thrive in an environment of openness and grace, and I feel like the culture of Loom has those characteristics. Also, I have learned that I am a relentless researcher and that I love learning and sharing knowledge that will let other really take off.
L: How do you see what you’ve learned and your passions coming together in the future?
J: It’s really hard to see the path that the Lord has me on, and so I can’t anticipate the future at all. I’m just trying to be faithful to do my best where He has me. Being a wife and mother, I have a good number of constraints on my living situation and time. But even with that, the Lord provided this great opportunity with Loom that fit my life perfectly logistically and academically while simultaneously matching my passions with Looms needs. I can’t say what is next, but I can trust that He is leading me where He intends for his Kingdom and glory.