Jessica is a graduate student at University of Denver’s Graduate School of Social Work, studying the emerging field of “green social work.” Through her studies and her volunteering with 350 Colorado over the last seven months, she has grown increasingly passionate about bold and radical solutions that center environmental justice, climate justice, social justice, and ecological justice and that challenge anthropocentrism (the perspective that puts human rights and wellbeing above the rights and wellbeing of all other living and non-living beings in our shared ecosystem). You can learn about some of these themes and solutions in her newsletter articles: Degrowth: Supporting a Just Recovery out of COVID-19 and Transition Towns: Localizing Climate Activism and in webinars she’s hosted: Indigenous Environmental Justice Panel

“Jessica coordinates, plans and delegates from a thorough high-level vision of what needs to happen for events to be successful – a characteristic ability of natural leaders,” shares Executive Director Micah Parkin. “We’re so incredibly grateful for all of her work with us, and will miss her when her internship ends this summer.” – Micah Parkin, 350 Colorado Executive Director

Jessica is originally from the suburbs of Los Angeles, California and has lived all over the country, following her passion for adventure and “the great outdoors.” She’s taught organic gardening, yoga, and meditation at an outdoor therapy program on the Big Island of Hawaii, led kayaking, hiking, and snorkeling adventures and environmental stewardship workshops on Catalina Island off the coast of California, and fell in love with Colorado’s majestic mountains working with children and leading ski lessons in Breckenridge and Steamboat Springs. She has been involved in environmental and social justice advocacy since she was 13 years old (albeit sometimes more actively than others) and in recent years, has worked to advance food security and sustainable food systems in California, Oregon, and Colorado. 

As a Mexican-Italian-Jewish-American, family and community are extremely important to Jessica and, in recent years, her idea of community has grown tremendously to include place and all the more-than-human beings who are living in coexistence.

Jessica is involved in several 350 Colorado campaigns and wishes she had more time to be involved in all of them! She is an active member of the 350 Colorado Newsletter Team, the Regenerative Agriculture & Local Food Systems team, and the Denver Metro team working to advance transportation and mobility solutions and is also the volunteer co-chair for the legislation and action committee.  As part of the effort to advance bold climate legislation and solutions in Colorado, she recently engaged over 110 Coloradans and about 60 legislators from across the state in a virtual climate lobby week event.

Jessica will graduate with her Master’s degree in June and plans to continue to advocate for environmental and social justice in the years to come. Her work with 350 Colorado to advance bold climate policy and local solutions has been top-notch, making her a true climate hero.

“Jessica has seriously stepped up and put her heart and soul into this work over the last year. Going above and beyond would be an understatement, we are so grateful for her efforts to help advance climate justice in Colorado.” – Julia Williams, Communications & Development Director