A native of Redding, CA, Jessica Cahill graduated from Brigham Young University with a degree in media arts and a minor in family studies. While a student, she participated in the production of various student capstone films, focusing mainly on Production Design. She also taught an Introduction to Film class for three semesters, and worked with professor Darl Larsen as a research assistant on his recent publication; “A Book about the Film Monty Python’s Life of Brian”. After serving with Impact America, Jessica plans to pursue documentary work that focuses on nonprofit organizations and humanitarian aid work..

Name and describe a memorable place you have been.
One place I will never forget is New York City in the days after Hurricane Sandy. I was working as a missionary in the city at the time, so I was among the first to arrive in Breezy Point, Queens, to help those whose homes had been devastated by both water and fire. As more volunteers arrived and resource centers popped up in local church and community buildings, I knew I would never forget the way a community of both friends and strangers came together to help those who had lost so much.

What’s your favorite quote from a book, film, or song?
Maude: “What kind of flower would you like to be?”
Harold: “I don’t know. One of these, maybe.”
Maude: “Why do you say that?”
Harold: “Because they’re all alike.”
Maude: “Oh, but they’re NOT! Look. See, some are smaller; some are fatter; some grow to the left, some to the right; some even have lost some petals. All kinds of observable differences! You see, I feel that much of the world’s sorrow comes from people who are this” *points to daisy in hand*, “yet allow themselves to be treated as that” *points to field of daisies*.

I love this exchange from Harold and Maude because I agree with Maude’s idea of how we should view both ourselves and others. Every person is unique, and those differences offer us the opportunity to learn from and appreciate others, as well as ourselves.

Who do you admire and why?
After seeing the film Won’t You Be My Neighbor?, I really admire Fred Rogers. He emulated love for each person he met, no matter who they were. The world would be a much better place if people cared about each other the way Mr. Rogers cared about others.