“We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in all of us. And when we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.” –Nelson Mandella
After capturing the state crown as Mrs. Cedar Rapids on June 20th, Jessica Gardner will represent the State of Iowa in the 39th annual Mrs. America pageant!
Jessica left behind a promising career in real estate to pursue what she feels is her true calling. She is currently a dedicated, creative and enthusiastic Activities Coordinator at Prairie Hills Senior Living in Cedar Rapids. She says she is honored to bring the crown back home to share with the residents whom she serves and is over the moon to be given the opportunity to use her crown to serve a population of Americans who are very dear to her. Jessica is a passionate advocate for the advanced age population, and she chose to vie for the Mrs. America title on the platform of “Enriching the Lives of Seniors”.
“I will proudly serve as a representative of all married women in Iowa throughout my year of service, and I hope to raise awareness about the need for more caregivers to assist the growing elderly population. My hope is that I not only raise awareness, but that I am also able pull together those who want to help with those who need help. People need people. Even just knocking on a door and visiting for a while makes a world of difference. Continuing that connection to the world, that social engagement, is so important. Sometimes it’s the smallest gestures that make the biggest impact on seniors, helping to improving their overall quality of life.”
Jessica enjoys the outdoors with Rich, her husband of three years, and her family. Some of the Gardners’ favorite activities include hunting for shed whitetail deer antlers in the spring and kayaking down the “Wapsi”. Jessica is passionate about the arts and when she really lets her hair down, she allows herself to get lost in the music she creates on the piano, and has recently discovered a hidden talent for watercolor painting.
Jessica currently resides in Cedar Rapids with her husband, Rich and is the proud Mother of Stella and Step Mother of Blakely and Wesley.