Meet Jessica Laxton! She’s a hardworking and dedicated fellow of Our Children, Our Future.
Currently residing in Cowen, West Virginia, Jessica is a Parent Educator with the Nicholas County Parents as Teachers, and Nicholas County Starting Points.
She first became involved with Our Children, Our Future while working for Nicholas County Starting Points and Nicholas County Parents as Teachers. That’s how she began attending policy workshops. Currently, she is responsible for coordinating all OCOF campaign activities for her office. Everything from planning Candidate Forums, to obtaining pledge cards, to registering new voters, and even training volunteers. As a Parent Educator, she is also responsible for visiting fourteen families every month and taking care of their needs. Jessica is a very involved and caring person!
Graduating from Concord University with a BA in Psychology, she previously held positions as a Psychological Assistant at Hopemont Hospital in Terra Alta, WV, and a Child Service Coordinator at FMRS Health Systems INC in Beckley, West Virginia. In addition to her Psychology degree, Jessica also holds a minor in political science.
Fun fact! Jessica is the loving owner of four cats, and has a one-year-old son who is her world. Check out how cute!
Jessica has always had an interest in politics. She cites her grandfather as one of her inspirations for becoming involved with political action, as he was a member of the West Virginia House of Delegates. “I have always had a very strong interest in politics and policies. I believe it is important that we all stand up and be heard so that our needs from our government are met.”
When asked what she would tell someone who is new to OCOF, she responded, “I would tell them that Our Children Our Future is trying to make a positive difference for all children in West Virginia, and point out that this is something any resident of West Virginia should take an interest in.”
Jessica especially enjoys the social atmosphere of her position, getting to speak with others and hearing why the issues on the commitment mean something to them. Jessica looks forward to seeing how the candidates feel about the different issues.
While working with Our Children, Our Future, Jessica has several interesting and exciting stories to share about her work. Her first story is a personal one …
“After our program’s first meeting with Our Children Our Future I had went home and was discussing the GOTV information and Commitment with my family. I was talking about the election coming up and my mother stated that she could not vote because she had never registered. This was something that I did not know and am not sure how I never knew this. Due to this I registered my mother and will be taking her to vote for the first time on November 8th at the age of 64.”
Jessica’s second story is an exciting tale of how the efforts of a few can wind up having a bigger impact than expected …
“Our program recently went to the first High School Football game of the Season. It is between Webster County High School and Richwood County High School. We did set up a table for a central location but instead of us staying there all the time we went into the stands. Since I am from Webster County I went into the Webster County stands and began talking with people. I came across a group of people I knew and one woman stood up and shouted, “Hey everyone Jessi is here with Starting Points and needs these papers signed for work, So if you are voting on November 8th you had better sign one!” She then passed around the clipboard of pledge cards through the audience and we ran out of pledge cards and had to go to our office and run off more copies. I also continued to go through the audience after the game started and had a man tell me he did not pay 5 dollars to hear me talk about voting he paid to watch a game. I apologized and told him if he signed a pledge card I would go away. He did have his daughter-in-law fill one out for him. So my advice for making a ball game a good event to do this work at is to not just sit at a table but to go into the crowd and talk with people especially if you know anyone there. Also once the game starts to stay out of the stands. During half time and before the game were the most effective times. Also while people were waiting in line at the concession stand. Also make sure to bring lots of copies.”