November 7, 2023

Faces of Fraternalism: Jessica Tucker, Illinois Jurisdiction Court 7264

Member Jessica Tucker of Cleveland, Illinois, is remarkable, and her story will amaze you.

Jessica did not plan on becoming a teacher, as she believed she didn’t possess the classroom management skills and temperament necessary to fulfill this career. She explored different jobs, but ultimately listened to God’s call for her to pursue a career in education.

When her student teaching assignment came around, she was placed at Colona Grade School in Colona, Illinois, a small town in the Quad Cities metropolitan area four miles southwest of her hometown. Her instant connection with the school’s staff was so genuine that she decided she was willing to take any position.

So, when the school’s special education teaching position opened, the principal offered Jessica the job on one condition: she would have to become a certified special education teacher.

She was anxious — she had no teaching experience and she had to go back to school — but the Holy Spirit, she believes, inspired her through a sort of peaceful confirmation of God’s call for her.

After her first year of teaching, Jessica was paired with someone she was familiar with through her connections in the community: Ricky.

In 2019, Ricky’s infant son’s kidneys started failing, and doctors determined he needed a transplant from a live donor.

Upon learning this, Jessica prayed: “God, I am 100% in if it is your will. I will get on the [operating] table.”

You read that right. She was literally going to donate her kidney to Ricky’s son. After undergoing a comprehensive living donor evaluation process, the two were deemed a mismatch. Jessica would not be able to get on the operating table.

“When you really love someone, these decisions are made without hesitation,” said Jessica.

Ricky’s son ended up finding a donor match in February and is reportedly doing well.

Nowadays, when Jessica is not dedicating her time to her students, she spends time with family and plays recreational soccer with friends. She also coaches Colona’s track and field and cross-country teams.

Jessica wants to leave a legacy of love and remind people that kindness is key: “Love is a lot of different things,” she said. “If you can leave a situation better than you find it and make one person smile, it is worth it. One small act of kindness can change someone’s life completely.”

Article by Kim Johnson