Jill, from New Smyrna Beach, Florida, overcame early family life adversities that most couldn’t imagine, woven with divorce, emotional abuse, and an overall unstable environment. Despite her tumultuous upbringing, Jill actively pursued a journey to better circumstances, becoming the first in her family to earn a Bachelor’s degree. Her husband and nominator Ron shares, “From there, she found her love for working with kids and young adults who come from broken homes like she did. She wanted to support them to help them understand that there is a way out.”

Then, tragically in 2011, Jill’s sister died in a car accident. Ron continues, “Jill got herself involved with therapy, started practicing yoga regularly, and putting more energies into her work. She is strong! Jill earned her Master’s degree in 2013, and made a move from Special Education Teacher to Regional Special Education Teacher Coach. She now works with six different schools and advocates for special education students’ needs. She takes much pride in her work because she believes that no matter what kids are exposed to, they have a chance to overcome with the right supports in place.”

Viva Babe Jill is nothing short of amazing. She mentions, “I hope my story will reach some others and inspire them; There’s always a way out of a bad situation, regardless of circumstances or age.” She shoos away the darkness on the path of light, remembering, “I am strong. I am resilient. I am loved.”