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Meet Jessica D. Walker

Today we’d like to introduce you to Jessica D. Walker.

Hi Jessica, it’s an honor to have you on the platform. Thanks for taking the time to share your story with us – to start maybe you can share some of your backstory with our readers?
My undergraduate experience at the illustrious Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University (FAMU) taught me a lot about becoming an adult. I inherently learned to trust my instincts more, while eliminating the desire for validation from others. As a first-year college student in an entirely new state with no friends at the time, I became all too familiar with the concept of being homesick. I found power and strength by standing tall through the charge to step outside of my comfort zone. 

Things seemed to be well, until a financial tragedy impacted my family. I remember the phone call as if it were yesterday; with disappointment and sadness in her voice, my mother called to share that she was furloughed from her employer at the time. Immediately, I felt my heart drop. Throughout my years, I depended upon my mother for financial stability. This was a time of true adjustment as my mother is a single parent who was supporting two children in college simultaneously. This unexpected change forced me to choose a life of resilience and never look back. Upon processing this news, I found a job in retail and asked my professors for opportunities to perform tasks as a teacher’s assistant. Furthermore, I developed healthier money management skills, I tapped into effectively using my resources, all the while I ended the semester with a 3.5 GPA/4.0 GPA Scale, earned a reputable internship, and I found an uncanny sense of peace coupled with faith that I would make it through this obstacle. Life’s Lessons are found all around us. After overcoming seasons of what felt like failure, it became important to me to encourage students by ‘showing up’ for them through sharing my story and the path I took to reconcile my situation. This incident proved to me that life is not necessarily about how you start nor is it about how you finish. The sweet spot in life is found in the things a person does ‘in the mist of’ their life’s journey.  Years later, I continue to stand in my voice as an adult, make decisions that are best for me. I thrive in being an advocate for myself and trailblazer in my own path. 

Our educational system has presented our students with an innumerable number of educational inequalities to include, but not limited to, school readiness gaps, class size debates, limited accessibility to advance curriculums/courses, and/or students disadvantages who live in food-insecure neighborhoods. Equity in education demands that we hold the same high expectations for all students, regardless of their gender, race, ethnicity, and socio-economic background. It requires leadership, practices, and school culture that guarantee educators help all students meet those expectations. Equality suggests providing every student with the same experience. Equity means working to overcome the historical legacy of discrimination, marginalization, and underinvestment that disadvantages specific groups of people, especially defined by race. Equity requires providing support tailored to the specific needs of students. ‘We’ the community all have a responsibility, in some way, to identify how we can bridge the gap in those inequalities in our education system.

With this in mind, I found an opportunity to lend my expertise and talents to invest in developing our students of tomorrow. High School Graduations are a time of celebration, recognition, and future planning for adolescent students. Students are eager to gear up for the next endeavor of their lives. Often this life-changing transition is immediately followed by some students experiencing the ‘gray area’ of their life. This may include a sudden demand and increase of questions and requests to learn how to become an adult. Whether students are leaving high school to directly enter the workforce, learn a trade or skill, join the armed forces, and/or attend college, this period is a time in which the students are most vulnerable and are exploratory in discovering their new identity as an adult. 

With a great deal of enthusiasm, I created The Adulting Code, LLC. The Adulting Code recognizes this phase as a pivotal time in which students will develop some of their core adult-centered principles and characteristics. The Adulting Code offers a life skills workshop series that is designed for students who will: Learn basic practical life skills that will enhance their personal experience of navigating through the unsolved code of adulting. Manage the information they’ve acquired to tailor their journey through life. Grow as a young adult, into their full potential, as each student transitions from adolescence into adulthood.

The Adulting Code’s category of services include: – Adulting 101: Life Skills Workshop Series – Independent Educational Consulting – Partnership specific to classroom instruction with local organizations, community partners, and County school boards.

Can you talk to us a bit about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way. Looking back would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
‘Heavy is the head that wears the crown’ – Shakespeare. Entrepreneurship has not been an easy nor smooth journey for me. The challenges I’ve faced are centered around finding balance between the action necessary to bring awareness to my business and maintaining personal motivation to push forward. Through this venture, I’ve learned to limit my expectations and response for support from others. Moreover, some people will not understand nor see your vision. I’ve accepted this is completely fine, because the vision was given to only you. I one hundred percent support the notion to protect your ideals until you’re ready to execute.

Thanks – so what else should our readers know about your work and what you’re currently focused on?
As a proud alumna of Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University, I earned a Bachelor of Science in Political Science and a Master of Applied Social Science, concentration Public Administration. I have nearly five years of experience in being an Independent Educational Consultant. In this role, I provide a variety of preparatory collegiate services to prospective college students. My specialty is in collegiate mapping, to include, personal statement reviews, FASFA applications, course work tutoring, and compiling a potential school list with students. 

Can you talk to us a bit about happiness and what makes you happy?
I am most fulfilled when I am a of service to others. I value being a resource for people when life gets in the way. My ‘why’ is simple – my life’s purpose and passion are invested in training teens and young adults to become authentic leaders in society. My focus is centered around ensuring the student’s overall wellness and preparedness for life after graduation. An authentic leader leads as the example, one who is open to sharing their journey: the good, the bad, and all there is in-between.

My goal is to encourage students to learn that adulting is an ever-evolving journey. While reminding students that it is not uncommon for people to have a non-linear path to success. Ultimately, I want to provide students an invaluable tool kit filled with resources and practical life skills that will help them overcome any adversity. Personally, I find great pleasure in being a music enthusiast who enjoys attending live concerts and curating playlists on streaming platforms. I find the purest joy when I am spending time with my family and friends who display and reciprocate genuine love and support. I’ve found an internal peace within that guides me through life. I continue to live and be alive through emitting gratitude and authentic peace from within.

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