Jessica’s Story: From a store vendor to a Board of Directors member
Before Jessica became an esteemed member of the board of directors of a people’s organization and the water district in her town, she was once a simple store vendor who needed to make ends meet each day.
Hailing from Moalboal, a municipality known for its tourism, 47-year-old Jessica is married and has three children. Her husband works as a hired driver in their local government office.
“It was a humbling life back then. I spend most of my time at home and at my store. I was happy and fulfilled,” Jessica remembers. “I thought that I couldn’t feel more fulfillment until I found my purpose in life,” she adds.
In the year 2000, Jessica’s child was chosen as a sponsored child of World Vision. The organization was just opening its development projects in their town. She was delighted to know that someone from overseas was extending support to them. Little did the mother realize that it was the beginning of a new life for her.
When the organization called for community leaders among the parents of sponsored children, Jessica was nominated by her peers which she accepted. Her task was to assist World Vision’s activities in implementing sponsorship activities. It included the monitoring of the well-being of sponsored children in her assigned area on a regular basis.
“The most challenging part of being a community leader was going to far-flung areas to reach the house of sponsored children. There are places that can’t be accessed with vehicles so I needed to walk for hours,” says Jessica.
After years of service as a community leader, she entered AIMLIFE, Inc., a people’s organization partnered by World Vision. She began working as an Economic Development leader. Her experience in managing a micro business aided her to impart entrepreneurial knowledge to her fellow parents. She also received agricultural training to expand her technical expertise.
After years of service in her job she was eventually recognized as a member of the Board of Directors in AIMLIFE, Inc. Along with other board members, Jessica was responsible in ensuring the organization’s strategic directions to ensure efficiency and sustainability. Her leadership experience landed her the same role in the town’s water district.
“Looking back to the many years since I started as a community leader, I realized that serving other people is my purpose,” Jessica remarks. “I never felt discouraged with the many setbacks I encountered.”
Indeed, she has gone a long way from being a store vendor to a Board of Directors member. She reflects that the most important thing that happened to her is that she became a better mother to her children. Notably, she has nurtured a deeper relationship with God which she inculcated to her children.
As World Vision transitions from Moalboal this year, Jessica expresses that she will do her best effort to sustain the projects established.
Jessica is now a grandmother to a little boy. He is the son of Jessica’s eldest son who is working as a seaman. Her second child is a computer programmer, while the third child is still in 10th grade.