Friday, March 6, 2009

Jessica Williams, 23

Jessica Williams was a Volunteer Activity Coordinator for Florence Crittenton in South Carolina for three months.

"I didn't realize that they were already under financial struggles [when I started in August], but it became much more apparent by October when they called me in one day and said 'Hey, you have two more days'", says Jessica about her brief experience there.

Jessica had just graduated college the previous spring and was very proud to have landed a full-time job with benefits through the organization which helps pregnant teenagers prepare for motherhood. She attempted to find more work in South Carolina, but had no luck. Instead of giving up, Jessica has decided to look at her lay-off as an opportunity.

"Originally, before all this happened, I was supposed to be famous," she says with a smile. " I actually went to school for theater, but I told my friends I would never be a starving artist. But now that I'm starving, I may as well go get the second part too".

And so Jessica packed up and moved to Atlanta to pursue acting. She has been staying with a friend there now for three weeks and has already found some part-time work at an after school program. It's not much of an income, but it is something and allows her the time she needs to find her way into Atlanta's acting world.

Jessica is also a devout Christian and has found opportunities to share and develop her faith. She practices Praise Dancing, which is a form of worship gaining popularity in Christian churches across America. Since losing her job she has been involved in about a dozen performances and is being asked to teach classes at churches in South Carolina and Georgia. She views the dancing as a part of her career as a performer, and will even be going on the road to dance in a touring production.

"I've always been one to 'go get it'. This is a situation where it's been much more of a struggle to [do that]. For a moment I was really down, and wondered if I should just give up and quit. But... I can't afford to do that. Life is too short and I refuse to. I will make it. It's just a matter of when and how, because this place is complicated".

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