Jessica grew up in Springfield, Illinois, where she attended local public schools. She earned her Bachelor’s degree in Spanish and History at Millikin University, spending a semester in the Dominican Republic teaching English to middle school girls. She is about to complete her Master’s in History from the University of Illinois at Springfield.
As a research intern at the bipartisan Legislative Research Unit, Jessica completed the Illinois Legislative Scholars Internship Program before joining the Illinois Senate Democratic Staff in 2005. There, she served in a variety of capacities before becoming the Policy and Budget Analyst for the Education and Pensions committees.
As the Government Affairs Director with Stand for Children, Jessica works with parents, legislators, and other education stakeholders to advocate for education policy that helps close the achievement gap.
Jessica continues to live and work in her home town of Springfield. She just sent her only daughter off to college, but remains an active volunteer with Springfield Public Schools.