Today we’d like to introduce you to Jessica Hernandez.
So, before we jump into specific questions about what you do, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
As far as I can remember, I was always a seeker of truth.
As a two-year-old little girl, I found myself living as a byproduct of a volatile divorce.
At a very young age, I was taught that I must stay quiet, and I must listen.
Growing up as a first-generation immigrant child in a divided household, I grew up as any typical Mexican girl. I was domesticated (whether I liked it or not) I was to stay quiet and do as I was told. I remember being bullied by my family for my dark skin. They liked to call me “Hersheys, dark girl, Tar, Gorda (fat girl)” or choco crispies (cute huh?), the usual Mexican terms of endearment.
At the age of five, I was being called “brown girl” at school by the white girl that sat next to me. I remember being angry, I remember feeling like, everything was wrong with me. I hated my skin. As soon as I could read, I submerged myself in the fantasy world of magic and all things supernatural. Reading became my refuge and knowledge became a new passion. Here, I was safe, here, no one could control me, learning would be my playground. I was constantly bullied for not being “normal” or wanting to play with the other kids. I was never good at sports and I never learned how to ride a bike and wasn’t very social. I was always comparing myself to other girls and wishing I was this… and that… ultimately resulting in a deep state of depression.
At my lowest, I dipped and dabbled in all sorts of self- medicating adventures, was pessimistic about life and quite frankly felt completely empty. It felt like a very lonely journey.
At some point, it became dark, real dark. I did, fortunately, go to a Performing Arts school which allowed me to indulge and fall in love again with the Arts. If it wasn’t for choir and dance I don’t know what I would have gotten into. I was still getting high off of anything I could and thinking of ways I could just disappear. I thought the world would be better without me. My skin was still dark, I was still not skinny, and I was constantly trying to please everyone else. There was something missing, I felt empty, I was so angry at everyone for hurting me. I was angry at everyone for not understanding me or ever allowing me to share my pain, much less allow me to heal. Somehow, I always maintained my fight for individuality, I think my father disowned me about 2 or three times. I didn’t stop, I was determined, I knew there was something out there… the truth, I needed MY truth. I knew I wasn’t happy, I was fading and I needed to change. I was hospitalized for anxiety and continued to maintain my negative state of mind. I couldn’t see past the anger.
In 2010 I moved to Montreal, Canada. This happened a year after being in a relationship with a French man that I fell in love with (another long story) and for 3.5 years he nurtured me back to health. I had to separate my mind, body, and soul from all the damage and start fresh, In the year I learned a lot, mostly how to take risks, be humble, and be stronger by being wiser. Unfortunately, the universe ended that chapter after I moved back to California, but I was brighter, better, and stronger. Those years were catalysts to the beginning of my self-love journey.
I always wondered as a little girl who I would be when I grew up, what would be my job? Would I follow my dreams? These dreamed seemed so far away and unreachable. I knew the world wasn’t a peaceful place and I knew in my youth that I would be a representative of peace within the chaos. Luckily, my love for school kept me focused. After six years, I graduated in 2016 with a B.A in Social Welfare. While in school, I participated in an internship that led me to volunteer at an organization that worked with sex trafficking victims and sex workers. During the same time, I had started working with Autistic children and my life was changed. Being in complete service to others fulfilled me, I had the ability to work with some of the most underrepresented demographics and be a part of living miracles was priceless. The sex trafficking became my everyday movement, eventually, I got hired full time after teaching art and empowerment classes. I was able to get published in a Sex Research handbook and be a part of becoming a Human Trafficking Certified.
In this time, I was doing deep, intensive healing work and came across a crystal necklace in my mom’s jewelry box. I was fascinated by the beauty; I had never seen anything like it. The crystal seemed to “talk” to me, I had never been so drawn to anything. I remember the words “Healing vibration” come into my head and I went to google and spent all day and night researching and learning about crystals and healing properties. I don’t remember exactly how it all happened but one day shortly after that I woke up without pain. I had suffered eight years of chronic Scoliosis which was debilitating to my being. I had experienced a miracle. I felt like for the first time in my life I had control of my emotions. I started to find local crystal shops and make bracelets and saw how much it affected my mood and overall being. I started to make them as a creative outlet and gave them to strangers id meet. Even though I was better, I still felt like I was missing guidance, I needed to be able to have a mentor or someone to confide and help me through these new understandings.
After about a year of looking for a mentor, I received a message on social media from the creator of Proworldlife
a personal and business development platform that supports like-minded individuals. Shortly after, I became an ambassador for Proworldlife and was able to adapt to a new lifestyle of positive, progressive and focused growth. After having worked with so many survivors and people who are really damaged, I was looking at new ways to empower and impact, but overall start the healing process for each person. They all like me at some time lacked self-love, self-esteem, and self-worth. I needed to find a way to impact on a larger scale. After going back and forth a lot, I decided to get my Masters in Nonprofit Management. This would allow me to start impacting as a leader and provide a platform for greater change. I also began my internship at Hard N’ Da Paint, an organization that helps at-risk youth become educated in the entertainment industry.
Also, as an extension of the support of Proworldlife, I created LaVerseau, a custom crystal jewelry and holistic living line that was intended to assist in being healing supportive tools for the rest of the world. I had spent three years giving away my jewelry for free and met so many beautiful souls. I have always valued the idea of helping others in exchange for a smile was priceless.
In order to support myself and others, I now share LaVerseau as a platform to meet and share healing stories of the community and nationwide. I now know that healing brings peace, the people want peace, I wanted peace. I know that the chaos I went through taught me how to allow peace in my life. My mission is now to share the importance of self-love to everyone. We deserve it.
We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc. – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
One of the biggest challenges I have had was believing in myself. I had to really REALLY believe that I could move to a different country and not fail. I had to be okay with knowing that my family might not approve of my choices but I had to keep it moving regardless. I didnt believe at the beginning that I was capable of servicing some of the most destitute people that exist. I didnt know that I would be able to work with the FBI, Detectives or think that my position in life would be what it is now.
I also had to learn how to be brave enough to step outside the box and not be afraid to be different. The individuality that I have fought so hard for is what has gotten me to this place now. I represent a different generation of strong and peaceful millennials that want a better future.
I must believe, WE must believe. Nothing is impossible, but it is work.
Change means to reframe your thoughts and belief systems about yourself. Every single person has the capacity to be great, but we have to be able to start asking the right questions and being open to heal.
Childhood trauma affects us all in one way or another and it is important to seek supportive systems to help us process and progress. Everyone is worthy of happiness. It is critical to surround ourselves with like-minded individuals.
I encourage every person to recognize their strengths and build upon them, become masters of their gifts.
Loving yourself is the greatest gift you could give anyone else.
So let’s switch gears a bit and go into La Verseau story. Tell us more about it.
I am currently a Case Manager at a non-profit that works with Sex Trafficking Victims. I am certified in Human Trafficking and Domestic Violence along with Child Sex Trafficking Advocacy. I teach empowerment classes, Art Empowerment, HIV Education and work as an LGBTQ ally.
I am halfway through my Masters Program and volunteer at HNDP (Hard N’ Da Paint). I also am a personal development ambassador through Proworldlife and teach Crystal Workshops for the community.
I started LaVerseau in 2019 and create affordable custom therapeutic crystal jewelry and natural products. The purpose of all of my work is to raise awareness of movements, to showcase alternative healing methods, and to be an advocate for humans. The goal is to spread healing and peace through positive mediums. My greatest gift is to bring hope and help others remember their light. I want to inspire each person who is hurting to search deep within to be able to rise instead of using unhealthy mechanisms. I have learned after working with hundreds of people is that most of us just want to be supported in our emotional wellbeing. It takes a village, I will do everything in my capacity to be a part of the beginning of a new era of peace. LaVerseau represents those who are different, those who believe in their truth and individual powers. Those who want a better future.
Who do you look up to? How have they inspired you?
I come from a generation of women that worked from sunrise to sunset in the farms. My mother came to the US at 14 with a 7th-grade education and basically raised her four children on her own. My mother is my hero, she is the first person to ever show me how to show compassion to strangers. She is a giver and has one of the biggest hearts. She has supported me in every step of my journey and a lot of what I do is inspired by her.
I luckily have three best friends and a sister who inspire me daily. Latinas breaking statistics! They have always been huge refuges and have seen me through my worst and my best.
I have many professors who influenced me exponentially. They always allowed me to be safe in class and understood my love for books and academia.
My French teacher who I met at 14, is still in my life. She brought me so much opportunity and shared one of my favorite obsessions: European culture. Thanks to her, I speak fluent french and I was able to create some of the best memories in my life. One of my biggest inspirations is Moshoula Capous -Desoullas, my college professor. I adopted her “anti-oppressive” theory in my work practice and we have worked closely in research. She has taught me that a minority woman can also be multidimensional and thrive in a male-dominated environment.
Lastly, my good friend and mentor, Rhiannon Roze. She came into my life and has been continuous support in my healing process. It is so important to have positive influences and surround yourself with people who want to see you succeed!
- Website: https://www.etsy.com/shop/LaVerseau
- Email: email@example.com
- Instagram: @la.verseau_jewelry @proworldlife