Jessica is a graduate of Renew Home & Decor’s retail training program. She was born in Florida and spent most of her childhood and young adult life in Florida. Her family was always close and worked together to support one another. Her experiences led her to grow up fast. Very early on Jessica learned the importance of life, family, and money.

Jessica spent a lot of her childhood in and out of hospitals. When Jessica was six years old her sister was diagnosed and battling cancer for a large part of her life. Jessica’s family was quickly swamped with medical bills. Jessica was often met with ultimatums surrounding money in her home. If Jessica wanted to participate in sports or extracurricular activities, it was either sports or paying for her sister’s cancer treatment.

Midshot photo of a woman with red hair, standing in front of an art piece of a wire cage full of multi-colored balls.

Due to the diagnosis, the family had to move frequently. They bought a home on Mercer Island Washington, spent about six months there, and then moved back to their home in Florida. Jessica’s family would do this back and forth for about 3 years. The family’s life revolved around helping their daughter receive treatment from the best doctors they could find. Although these life lessons were difficult Jessica felt that they shaped her and showed her how to have empathy and care for the people around her at a young age. She spent a lot of time with her sister, always trying to make her feel better and caring for her. While navigating through these challenges Jessica and her family were facing, she also had a job working at a stand inside of the mall with her mother. They sold accessories, makeup, and beauty products. Jessica started this job at the age of 9 and worked there until she was 15 years old. Jessica’s family would also frequent flea markets to sell items they found and refurbished.  In Jessica’s teenage years her sister lost the battle with cancer. Jessica promised her sister that she would show her the world and that they would travel. This led her to join the carnival. Her previous retail experience landed her a job working at one of the booths where you can play games to win prizes. Jessica prides herself in her ability to sell and make people have fun. We witnessed this while she was in the training program, at Jessica’s graduation her classroom trainer Janee described her as a bubbly, fun, and positive person. Jessica further sharpened her charisma and salesmanship skills during her six years at the carnival. When her need to travel and see the world around her was fulfilled she decided to settle down in Washington. Jessica always found creative ways to provide for herself and when she had two children it didn’t stop her from being a salesman. One of the routes she took to make money was furniture restoration. Jessica learned to restore furniture from her family and loved to help out when she was a child. Jessica continued to restore furniture pieces and other vintage items for money. This made her feel close to her family while doing it. Jessica felt there was a piece missing to be able to gain more success. She wanted to take her restoration skills to the next level and find a way to market herself online.

As Jessica searched for training programs, she came across the HopeWorks Training Program. She contacted Jerron and found that Renew would be a great fit. As she went through the program Jessica fell in love with Renew. Jessica and her trainer focused on her computer and online skills throughout her time in the program. She had sales experience, but it was technology experience that she needed help and support with. They worked on sending emails, listing items, and figuring out how to use computer programs like inventory input and Microsoft apps. Jessica learned the missing pieces she needed to get further in the furniture restoration and marketing world. At the same time, she provided a role model for her children. They noticed that she was going to work and taking on a new responsibility. Jessica felt her family growing closer, she was able to help her children be content with going to daycare and school. When Jessica graduated it was a heartfelt moment. Her trainer Janee said “You have definitely blossomed. You came in like a firecracker and now you’re a calm burning fire.” Jessica received praise for her cheerful personality, time management, and determination to succeed. Jessica has been volunteering at Renew Home & Decor while navigating a path to pursue education. Her experience was more than positive. It is said best by her. “Thank you to everyone who helped me along the way. This program is amazing, and I want to be able to give back to it as much as it has given to me.”