From the first drafting course that she enrolled in during her freshman year of high school, Jessica learned the possibilities that could come of seeking guidance from her professor and lifelong mentor. As a student in the ACE (Architecture/Construction/Engineering) Mentor program, she worked with her peers and industry professionals to develop capstone projects similarly to a design studio. Jessica complemented her ACE and technical drawing curricula with an after-school design internship at HLR Architects beginning her junior year of high school. The hands-on experience of applying these lessons to local building projects and engaging with the day-to-day responsibilities of architects strengthened Jessica’s confidence in pursuing the profession.
By the time she began her studies at the University of Virginia (UVA), Jessica had a strong sense of how design might improve communities and was eager to contribute to a proposal. With her peers and in partnership with the town council, the Grundy Teen Center was designed to foster the community’s aspirations and celebrate its Appalachian heritage. The project was awarded an Appalachian Prosperity grant, placed in the annual Jefferson Public Citizens presentation, and was featured in the AIA 2016 Emerging Professionals exhibit.
Jessica joined the Page family in the Washington DC office the summer before entering her fourth year at UVA. Inspired by the international commissions at the office, she continued to seek out a global perspective in the Re-Centering Delhi research project and traveled to the capital city for its exhibition at the Embassy of Switerzland in India. Maintaining her momentum, Jessica subsequently completed her Masters of Architecture at Virginia Tech’s Washington-Alexandria Architecture Center while working at Page. Her thesis was dedicated to the opportunities for housing in Havana, where she was born. An exposure to the building of cultures through her travels has sparked a passion for engaging with the cultures of building around the world.
At Page and as an ACE mentor, Jessica looks forward to continuing to realize the firm's vision of improving communities through design.