Meet Jessica, Our New Part-Time Communications Assistant!

Tell us a bit about yourself! 

I’m a born and raised Calgarian, and with the exception of 2 and a half years in Victoria completing my undergraduate degree, I’ve lived in Bowness my whole life. I just recently purchased my first home in the community and assisted with the internal tear down and renovations to build my space. I started gardening this summer and I love spending time outdoors. I enjoy hiking, mountain biking and camping. I’m an avid reader and I love to write. Since I was in elementary school I’ve written plays, short fiction and poems, and I regularly participate in writing competitions. I’ve also rediscovered my love of fast pitch and I manage and play on a ladies team in a semi-competitive league. To prepare for the season, I got back into the gym and started weight lifting again, as well as taking part in spin classes. Given all of that activity I do also love food and enjoy hitting up new restaurants in the city with friends and family.

What is your personal definition of feminism?

As a writer, I’ve always paid attention to voice. To me, feminism means space for women’s voices; the opportunity to speak and to be heard.  I also believe in equality of opportunity and of choice. Feminism to me is defined as space, support and empowerment for women of all races, culture and sexual orientation.

What brought you to the Women’s Centre of Calgary?

I was drawn to the Women’s Centre, initially, because of the part-time communications job posting. Never in my work experience have I so quickly felt a sense of support and belonging. The programming is incredibly interesting and valuable. There have been times of struggle in my own life where I would have loved to reach out to the Women’s Centre for support. I also would have loved the opportunity as a young woman to participate in the girl programs. I truly appreciate that the Women’s Centre offers those supports, but that they also have programming and community for women of any circumstance. I am excited to take part in the workshops at the centre and continue to have an opportunity for growth and learning.

What’s one thing you hope to learn at the Women’s Centre?

I’d like to learn how to be more assertive when speaking about issues through a gender lens. Often I hear feminism referred to like it’s a four letter word. I’m hoping that my experience at the Women’s Centre can help me to be a better leader and role model for all the women in my life.

Describe a woman who you admire or who has influenced your life.

I’m incredibly close with my mother. She coached my fast pitch team when I was a teen and she’s shown me what it means to be a leader. She’s very patient. I’ve always felt that she’s demonstrated grace and rationale when faced with adversity and I admire her for that. She had a motorcycle accident a few years ago and broke 6 ribs, but it didn’t scare her off riding and once healed she got back on her bike. She regularly tours throughout Canada and the United States. She lost her mother to cancer when I was a teenager. While my grandmother was sick, my mother visited her every day in the hospital and made sure the rest of the family was cared for and supported. As I’ve grown I’ve started to see her as the whole and complete person she is and not just my ‘mom’. She’s taught me an immense amount of resiliency.

 

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