Meet Jessica B. Chavez! Jessica is the M-POWER Coordinator for the Latino Community Development Agency, Inc. where she works with local clinics in Oklahoma City to create health systems change to increase referrals to the Oklahoma Tobacco Helpline. She is also engaging leaders of the Latino community to advise on a new health initiative. In her spare time, she also serves as a member of the OK In the Know Community Council.
Keep reading to learn more about Jessica’s work and expertise, including the reason why she might have special insight on your three year old’s behavior. Or, find her in the OK In the Know directory and reach out!
Q & A
Q: Everyone has a story to tell! What have you done in the past?
A: As an INFJ (a Myer Briggs personality type) I have always had a passion for serving others. I first came to Oklahoma as a student at the University of Oklahoma with the intentions of becoming a physical therapist. However, as I was pursuing my Health and Exercise Science degree, I realized that I had a deep seeded calling to get involved in the community. I joined many extracurricular organizations and began volunteering weekly in southwest Oklahoma City. Volunteering at numerous academic conferences, town halls, and parent education workshops led me to join Teach for America in 2015 as a bilingual, early childhood educator in Tulsa, OK.
As a teacher I had the privilege of working with some of our littlest learners as they mastered basic life skills, TWO languages, and academic instruction all at the ripe old age of 3-5 years old. My school emphasized parent/community involvement and I was able to work with some incredible teachers to increase parent engagement at our site. Our school was predominantly Latino and I noticed a need for access to bilingual health resources in the community. This led me back to Oklahoma City, where my heart had remained, and to the Latino Community Development Agency in particular. The agency has been a central resource for Latinos in the area for 25 years and I was ecstatic to join as the Latinos M-POWER coordinator!
Q: What are you working on now?
A: The current focus of our program is two-fold. We really want to work with local clinics in predominantly Latino areas of Oklahoma City to create health systems change that will lead to an increase in referrals to the Oklahoma Tobacco Helpline. Latinos as a whole tend to be uninsured at higher rates than the general population and there are a few low-cost clinics that have popped up to help meet the demand for health services. We hope that by embedding referrals to the helpline into their daily functions, we will see a decrease in tobacco use among our community.
We also are in the process of developing a Community Advisory Board that will provide valuable assistance and insight as we develop our first ever Community-Wide Challenge. Our board members will be prominent Latino leaders who will help us tailor the challenge to really serve the needs of our community!
Q: What are your favorite ways to use OK In the Know?
A:I love the resource section and the LMS! I am obsessed with learning something new each day and that is a central hub of new information I can access quickly. I also love reading the spotlight segments and seeing all of the wonderful things our members are doing to help shape Oklahoma!
Ask Her About…
Early childhood development and personality! If you need someone to help you understand the inner mind of your 3-5 year old, I am your girl! Although I am no longer in the classroom I love to read about early childhood development in my spare time. I have two children, a 5 year old and a 4 month old, and I love observing their behaviors and predicting what milestones will come next.
I am also really passionate about personality tests. I can tell you what animal I am (Koala), my top strength (Developer), and, my favorite, my Myer Briggs type (INFJ). I love to guess what others are and have pretty much forced my entire family to take the tests!
- I am obsessed with stationery!
- I have an extensive thank you card collection.