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Meet Jessica

Being the change she wants to see...and helping others along the way.

Beaming with grace and overflowing with infectious joy, school-practitioner, urban gardener, author, and entrepreneur Jessica Carter has mastered the art of wearing many hats. The youngest of ten children, Jessica always had a heart for children from a young age and caretaking came to her like second nature. Growing up her parents worked a lot to provide for their family so her grandmother moved in to help take care of them during work hours. Her grandma was the backbone of her family and, under her watchful eye, Jessica would begin babysitting as a young girl; a skill she would carry with her throughout her life. Lessons learned from her grandmother would be a driving force for Jessica as she grew up. The house her grandma owned in west St. Louis city became Jessica’s home after entering college. This home would become a beacon for young children and at 21-years old she began accepting foster children. At 23, she opened her first in-home daycare, accepting children up to three years old and giving them a space to explore, create, and have free thought.

Education

After gaining her bachelor’s degree in Business Management from St. Louis University and a master’s in Organizational Management from Ashford University, Jessica still had no desire to embark on a career in corporate America. Instead, her heart was rooted in developing children and engaging with her community; positively reinforcing the black culture she’d been raised in. It was then she decided to create Legends Academy, a private preschool in Florissant, MO. Dedicated to fostering an environment where children learn to think as an individual and are granted the resources to do so, Jessica desired to create a school that functioned as a place of growth and embraced diversity and inclusion. Legends Academy provides this exact structure; providing black and brown students with the tools they need for success while incorporating gardening, social sciences, and hands-on experiences.

Motherhood

Inspired by the birth of her daughter, Jessica also saw a need for more black faces in children’s literature. It was her hope to fill her child’s bookshelf with fictional stories of characters that looked like her, but she noticed the genre lacked diversity. From that thought, Tribe X was born, a children’s book series chronicling the adventures of black and brown children wielding extreme, superpowers in magical realms. Both books within the series, Growing Pains and ABC Affirmations About Me, were self-published under Jessica’s publishing company Carter Creations Publishing House; providing a sustainable platform, not only for herself but for other authors seeking to get their written works out to the world.

Community

Driven by passion and a deep-rooted love for her community, Jessica resumed gardening when her family purchased their first home. In 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic, she increased her community gardening efforts with the masses via social media by teaching virtual gardening classes, reinforcing the importance of self-sustainability, and producing fun-filled, viral garden twerk videos that keep followers engaged. Believing home gardening and self-sustainability is the key to ending food deserts and paving new frontiers for African Americans in the agriculture industry, Jessica strives to reconnect people back to their roots and to the earth.

 

An innovator and educational explorer, Jessica Carter is moving mountains in a plethora of realms. Unsatisfied with the current structure of the education system and the lack of representation of black and brown people in agriculture and children's literature, Jessica is the change she desires to see. By allowing her light to shine through her versatile, multifaceted brand and imparting fun, hope and encouragement to everyone who she encounters, Jessica is reshaping the fluidity of black women in education and entrepreneurship.

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