Meet the Founder and Executive Director
With 25 years of experience working with children, teens, and families in youth outreach, domestic and foreign missions, and as a Police Officer, Jessica brings firsthand information and experience to the issues of child and teen sexual exploitation, abuse, and sex trafficking.
Jessica holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Child Development with a minor study in Law, Criminology, and Deviance from the U of M Twin Cities. She received a Certificate in Law Enforcement from Normandale Community College in Bloomington, MN and Law Enforcement Skills at Metro State University, St. Paul MN. She also holds certificates of continued education and training in Homeland Security, Weapons of Mass Destruction, ATF Tax Evasion to Fund Terrorism, Human Trafficking, Adverse Childhood Experiences and Trauma Informed Care, Interdiction of Crimes Against Children, and Crimes Against Children in Indian Country.
In her U.S. and overseas missions work, she has led youth teams in disaster relief, community development projects, started children’s VBS programs and teen sports programs, and trained local staff to continue the work of community and youth engagement.
Jessica served 12 years in law enforcement as a Patrol Officer and as an Undercover Officer in human trafficking and narcotics investigations with a large Metro Area Police Department. She also held positions as a Field Training Officer, Community Engagement Liaison, and was active in several neighborhood crime prevention committees. As an Officer, Jessica received recognition for her work including letters of appreciation from community leaders, commendation from other law enforcement agencies, and from the Minneapolis City Attorneys’ office for her undercover work and missing child recovery. She is the recipient of several Department and National Law Enforcement awards including: The Chiefs Award of Merit, the Carolyn Bailey Mentorship Award from the Minnesota Association of Women Police, and Officer of the Year.
Jessica retired from law enforcement in 2014. In 2015, a phone call asking her to come back and train on juvenile sex training awakened a calling that launched A.C.T. United. Her mission is to take everything she knows about what leaves children and teens vulnerable to exploitation, the cultural and spiritual dynamics that fuel a dark market for child abuse and trafficking, and use it to educate and equip communities in prevention.
Jessica is an engaging, passionate speaker who will leave you not just informed of the facts of juvenile sex trafficking but inspired to take action by her message that “UNITED WE WIN.”
“I take my hindsight and make it your foresight for the protection of children, youth, and families” – Jessica