Although Jessica was among the top ten students in her class, she had no option but to become a street vendor after finishing high school. Now, Jessica is one of the Province Public Prosecutors in Peru.
Jessica is the oldest of three children who’s parents worked as street vendors at Gamarra Business Center, one of the most well-known commercial emporiums in Lima City.
They set up shop on the corner of any street, wherever they could find some space. Both husband and wife had to work from Monday through Saturday, no matter if the day was rainy, sunny or too hot.
If they did not work, there was no money to provide for their daily needs.
December was the month they did most sales, so they would work every single day of the month. They stayed in the street past midnight while Jessica and her siblings were left at a day care center run by the town hall. When the children were older, they were required to help their parents sell or do house chores.
Jessica remembers a special day when she was six years old and something happened that brought a change into their lives.
“I still remember that afternoon when some members of the Nazarene Church passed by giving all pedestrians invitations to attend an evangelistic campaign.”
Six-year-old Jessica went with her parents and that night they accepted Jesus as their Savior. A few days later the entire family began attending the Nazarene Church services.
Jessica and her two younger siblings were happy to be able to attend Sunday School regularly. They enjoyed the special programs and making good friendships instead of just staying in their small home. When Jessica was 8, she and her siblings were registered with our program at the church.
Jessica graduated from our program the year she finished high school and was in the first official group who graduated from the Child Sponsorship Program.
Her school offered her a scholarship to study basic accounting at a technical school because of her great performance during high school. But she was not able to use it because in order to study she needed money to buy books, notebooks and for transportation to the academy. The scholarship only covered the cost of registration and the monthly fees for one year.
Determined to attend university, Jessica decided to work and save money to study the career she wanted, Law.
“My parents were not able to give me a higher education, so in order to apply to a university I decided to sell shampoo all day going from door to door and to save that money.
One day while selling the merchandise, I saw an ad offering 20 scholarships to do pre-university studies. I applied and won it! I began attending the academy in the afternoon and continued selling shampoo during the mornings to pay for my meals and transportation.”
The following year Jessica applied to Saint Mark University, a public university with low fees. She took the admission tests and was admitted to study law, achieving her first milestone.
With some extra time and the need to support herself, Jessica decided to teach mathematics to some of her new classmates during the afternoon. She also took another job at one of the campus libraries. After a long day, she would go back home to sleep and come back early to start another busy day.
Graduating from university was Jessica’s second milestone.
After finishing her university studies, she was admitted into the Public Registry Office for a two-year practice and afterwards she obtained her Law Title. Jessica enjoyed working for the Judiciary so she applied and was admitted there.
Once she had a job, she decided to study Civil and Business Law to get a Masters Degree, using her salary to pay for her studies. After earning her Masters Degree, Jessica decided to continue studying to get a PhD and then prepared for one year to apply for the selection to become a judge.
Once again, Jessica achieved her goal, marking another milestone in her accomplished life.
“It has been hard because I had to pay for my studies, support myself plus help support my family, but the Lord has always given me the strength to go ahead.”
Jessica was appointed to the position of Province Public Prosecutor in June 2011. The President of the country was in charge of giving each lawyer their title at a special ceremony that was featured on the TV news, radio and newspapers.
In addition to her heavy workload at the office of the Public Prosecutor, Jessica is part of the consulting board of the Nazarene Church.
“I am in charge of the church’s legal papers, I check the legal status of each church in the country either to sell, buy or improve a church building within the country.
My future plan is to become a Judge of the Supreme Court. Right now I am in the first stage and in four years I will have the option to take a test to become an Examining Magistrate.”
Jessica shares her dreams, feeling challenged to continue ahead in the career she has chosen. There is no doubt that she will continue to accomplish great things.