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“Don’t try to fix them. Empower them to be their own healers.” – Jessica Allen
At ten years old, Jessica Allen and her family moved out to the San Francisco Bay Area. She went to a lot of different schools, jumped around a lot, and then was placed in foster care. After her daughter Neveah was born, Jessica attended Hilltop High School for young mothers, and graduated there. Being in foster care, Jessica had the feeling that those talking about her life did not look upon her as an expert, or that her voice was valuable. She had to navigate the foster care system under constraints, and not feeling that her voice was heard.
As a current TAY Advocate Fellow and a previous member on Transitional Age Youth San Francisco’s (TAYSF) Citywide TAY Advisory Board (CTAB), Jessica believes that this work is an amazing opportunity to represent her community. The CTAB is “very much starting to inform me about the path I want to take and what my career will look like,” Jessica said, “definitely focused on social justice and community.”
Jessica is also focusing on healing work and healing circles for women through a spiritual component, to mentally balance the demands of motherhood. Jessica’s philosophy is youth development and a holistic approach to problems. Jessica works as a “Doula,” or labor coach, providing the emotional and physical support for women in labor, during pregnancy, and postpartum.
Now in school at City College of San Francisco, Jessica is looking at Mills College in Oakland and San Francisco State in order to get a degree in social work or ethnic studies.