Jessica Irvine

Major/Year: Elementary Education/First Year
Hometown: Newberry, Florida

Jessica has had a life full of experiences. She is a former foster youth and has always found the positive in life. She always wanted to attend college, but did not see the University of Florida as an option for her. To Jessica being a student at UF is “like a dream come true”.

For Jessica, the best part of being first generation and a Machen Florida Opportunity Scholar is being a part of a community that understands the amount of work it took to get to college. “Just ‘cause you get into college doesn’t mean the difficulty of being a first generation student goes away…once you get in, it can be very difficult because you don’t have a parent to talk to.” She is glad to have a supportive group of people to get through college with. Jessica is grateful of the contributions President Bernie Machen has made to MFOS and she enjoys sharing with others the great opportunity she has been given through the MFOS program. In addition, her mentor, Jacquelyn, has been helpful as a guide to college life. Jacquelyn has gone above and beyond to help Jessica get adjusted to college life.

Jessica looks forward to one day moving to her dream city, New York City, to be an elementary school teacher. “I just want to live a happy and fulfilled life.” No matter what career Jessica ends up choosing, she wants to be the best. Her success means that her future children will be successful. Meanwhile, Jessica is exploring the many organizations that UF has to offer. She was recently accepted to be a Preview Staffer and has been working with Friends for Life, which volunteers at Shands hospital with pediatric cancer patients. She also participates in LEAPS which is an event management club.

Closing Remark: “I know for sure your journey begins with a choice to get up, step out, and live fully.” [Oprah Winfrey]