Singing our National Anthem at Opening Ceremonies, Jessica is a Patient Ambassador for Shriners Hospital for Children.
With flowing blond hair and a guitar by her side, Jessica could easily be mistaken for Taylor
Swift. The country music turned pop music sensation serves as a huge inspiration to 21-year-
old Jessica since she started playing the guitar several years ago. She has since added the
mandolin, ukulele and piano to her musical repertoire, which continues to grow.
Jessica was diagnosed with bilateral genu valgum, which is commonly referred to as “knock
knee,” and has been a patient with Shriners Healthcare for Children – Florida since Jessica was
10. She has undergone five different surgeries with four of them being both knees at once.
Looking back, both agree the facility and staff have made a huge difference in Jessica’s life.
“Shriners helped me to be active and athletic, which I love,” Jessica said as her mother Carolyn
For two years, Jessica led the soccer team at Newberry Christian Community School in
Gainesville as the team’s captain. During her time on the high school team, she played center
midfield and scored a “hat trick,” which is three uninterrupted goals in a row. Jessica also
became involved on her high school’s basketball team as a starter and had a great year.
She excels in her studies, too. Jessica is a senior at Florida State University where she is
majoring in music therapy with a minor in psychology. Prior to her move to Tallahassee, Jessica
was dual enrolled at Santa Fe Community College where she earned 30 college credit hours
before even graduating high school.
Jessica’s passion for music is clear. So much so that she will perform publicly for audiences of
all sizes. Whether it’s a small coffee shop in Gainesville or a widely attended charity event,
Jessica is in her element when she is up on stage. She writes or co-writes her own music, all of
which is available for download on Amazon, iTunes and Google Play. Jessica’s first CD, “Tidal
Wave,” was released spring 2016.
Jessica sang the national anthem at the East-West Shrine Game in 2016 and she has become
highly requested by Shriners and other community supporters. Jessica performed at the Azan
Temple’s Potentates Ball, the 8th Annual Sam Swope Memorial Charity Ride and Shriners
International’s 142nd Imperial Session, to name a few. Jessica has also become involved with
the local Daughters of the Nile temple in Jacksonville; Khem Temple No. 85. She looks forward
to continuing to give back to the mission that has given so much to her.
Jessica’s verve is contagious and within minutes of meeting her, you realize why she is so
special. Her resume of talents and triumphs are impressive, and she is just getting started. With
such a busy schedule and promising future, we are so grateful that she still makes time for her
Shriners Healthcare for Children – Florida family.
With the current momentum she has going, who knows what will come next for Jessica. Maybe
her rise to the top will include an opportunity to meet Taylor Swift, which according to her would
“just be the coolest thing ever.”
The 1st U.S. Volunteer Cavalry Regiment - Rough Riders, Inc. was formed for the purpose of creating and perpetuating a living memorial to the unique accomplishment of President Theodore Roosevelt and the members of the 1st U.S. Volunteer Cavalry Regiment known as "The Rough Riders."
Every year, the Rough Riders collect, sort, and distribute thousands of Teddy Bears to hospital patients, cancer survivors and their families, centers for abused women and children, community health centers, special needs day care centers, and foster children.
Community Involvement is a long-standing objective of the 1st U.S. Volunteer Cavalry Regiment - Rough Riders, Inc. For over 36 years, the Regiment has contributed hundreds of thousands of dollars both financially and in volunteer hours. Whether providing a material goods or manpower, Rough Riders live to get up close and personal with the community where they live and work.