Jessica Nicely

Jessica Nicely is a mother and wife. She is a constant advocate for children’s rights, most especially for child abuse prevention. Having a BA in English, she is obsessed with books and especially with magazines. She published her book Majestic: A Pageant Girl’s Guide to Winning to help motivate young ladies and help them achieve their goals! And then a few years ago, along with a dear friend, Jessica created Savvy Magazine an international beauty, and pop culture magazine filled with positive messages for young women! She currently runs a charitable company with four amazing sisters called The Letter 4 Plus 1, we provide hope and support through inspirational stories and by selling or products and donating a portion of our proceeds to charities that are close to our hearts.

What’s your current profession?
I am a Mama to the two finest human beings I know first and foremost. In my spare time I do all I can to help bring an end to child abuse by volunteering and sitting on several boards and committees, including the Arizona Foster Care Review Board. I am also currently working on changing the legislation to find the most effective way to prevent recidivism with sex offenders who commit crimes against children. I also create and sell crafts in my shop www.happypretty.etsy.com Most recently, I co-founded The Letter 4 Plus 1, a charitably conscious company that I started with four amazing sisters. www.theletter4plus1.com

What are your top 3 achievements?
1. Being the best Mama I can be and having raised two incredible, kind, wonderful children.
2. Co-founding and creating Savvy Magazine. Even though the magazine is no longer in print, realizing a dream that I had for so long and a dream that so many said would be impossible, was extremely satisfying.
3. My work in child abuse prevention is something I am very proud of and knowing that it will all culminate in my bringing about real change, when I change the legislation, makes me feel very proud.

Tell us about your educational background.
I have a BA in English from Arizona State University

Tell us more about your family, with whom you are closest?
Having been raised in a very non-traditional, quite tumultuous home, marrying into the Nicely family and becoming a Nicely and now having two little Nicelys of my own, is what I dreamed of as a child. Our family is “normal” and loving and kind and we laugh every day. My little girl drew a picture of our family in kindergarten with a caption that I thought was so appropriate, she inadvertently wrote a double entendre when she said “I love my family because we all ways have fun” that pretty much says it all.

What kind of modeling/spokesperson projects have you done?
I was the spokesperson for the Arizona Chapter of Prevent Child Abuse America while I was Miss Arizona USA. I travelled the state for over a year speaking out against child abuse and serving as a role model to children who were being abused, as a survivor of child abuse myself, and reminding adults of the importance of breaking the cycle of abuse. I’ve represented multiple charities over the years, at more events than I can honestly count. I did some little modeling jobs here and there, but nothing to speak of in that arena. 😉

Do you have any interest in politics?
I do, in that I need politicians to help me make positive change in the world. I am a big believer in supporting the person and their beliefs and not the “party” and I feel encouraged when others do the same and I love websites like www.ruck.us where people are encouraged to help their politicians bring about change through the everyday person’s voice.

Who is your favorite role model?
My Grandmother Elizabeth was and always will be my role model. In a world of chaos she was my voice of reason. She taught me what true, unconditional love is and she and my Grandfather had a happy, loving marriage that I admired so very much.

Do you have a website?
Yes, www.jessicanicely.com which links to all my other pages and will have updates on the legislation I am working to change to better the lives of Arizona’s children, and then I’ll tackle the rest of the country.

What kind of philanthropic/fundraising work have you done?
I’ve volunteered in some capacity for child abuse prevention, on and off for the last 15 years…these are the highlights:

PCA-Prevent Child Abuse
1997-Official Spokesperson for the AZ Chapter of the NCPCA (now PCA)

CAPA-Child Abuse Prevention Arizona
2003-2005-Board Secretary for CAPA (Child Abuse Prevention Arizona) Co-Chair of the Milk Carton Boat Derby (their big annual event) Participated in a PSA for the “Not Even for a Minute” Campaign

Gabriel’s Angels
2004-present-Volunteered in some capacity for at least 8 years
Been a table host at Unleash the Love for several years- this year included
Sat on the inaugural committee for Salud and sit on that committee presently

Foster Care Review Board
2011-present-Board Member-Board MC36 Feb. 2011 – present day
Removal Review Board Member Jan. 2012-present day

I am also currently working very hard to change the legislation to find the most effective approach to preventing sex offender recidivism in crimes against children.

Some other organizations I’ve enjoyed working with: Childhelp, MDA, Aids Walk Arizona, and Leukemia Lymphoma Society.

What are your favorite platforms or which charitable organizations you admire most?
I have volunteered in some capacity for Gabriel’s Angels for over 8 years and I adore this cause and the people behind it. The charity provides pet therapy for abused and neglected children. I have seen it work first hand and it is truly breathtaking to watch broken children transform and heal through the unconditional love of an animal.

What’s your dream job?
I’m living it…being a Mama. I also always dreamed of working for or creating a magazine and writing a book, and I was blessed to have been able to do both of those things as well.

Ten years from now where do you see yourself?
I will have passed or changed at least one law in my efforts to keep children safe from child abuse. And by then my babies will be in high school so I’m guessing I’ll be at a lot of high school sporting events!

Fun stuff:

Favorite Book (s):
Man’s Search for Meaning, Their Eyes Were Watching God

Favorite Musician (s):
Jack Johnson – because my whole family likes his music and he works to bring about positive change in the world.

Favorite Movie (s):
Classics: How to Marry a Millionaire
More Current: All the Vacation (Griswald Family) movies make me laugh

Favorite Actor (s):
Audrey Hepburn

Favorite Sport (s):
I love to watch Mixed Martial Arts and College Basketball

Favorite Athlete (s):
MMA fighter Forrest Griffin- because he’s a phenomenal athlete and he gives back

Favorite TV Show (s):
King of Queens, and The Office

Favorite Place (s):
Anywhere my family is

Favorite Website (s):
Pinterest is like therapy to me…when I have a long day of reading child abuse prevention stories, Pinterest is my escape to all things lovely and happy. Of course www.theletter4plus1.com, and I also love www.change.org, www.ruck.us, www.crowdrise.com, www.values.com and I’m sure I’ll be adding www.inspirationalladies.org to my list upon it’s completion J

Favorite Restaurant (s):
Red Robin makes me and my fam very happy

Do you have any pets?
I love animals…in fact throughout high school and college I worked in animal clinics. So yes, I can’t live without a pet 😉 I have one kitty…Skippy Jon Jones (he has thumbs) and I have one puppy…Gabby, she came from Gabriel’s Angels (one of my all time favorite charities)

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