Jessica De la O has had a long term career serving youth and young adults. She earned a Ph.D. In education for a dissertation that focused on the critical time of transition when young people leave home and step into the next stage of life (i.e., young adulthood as they enter higher education). How well young adults integrate into the next stage of life has been a consistent point of interest for Jessica in academia as well as in community work. After earning her doctorate, she developed a rite of passage program for adolescent girls to provide a community forum in which girls’ voices could be heard, encouraged and honored. She has dedicated herself to making her doctoral study relevant to the current need among our youth today.

Jessica has served as a ritual leader for Sacred Emergence: Young Women’s Initiation since 2005, and sits on the Women’s Initiation Council. She is especially passionate in assisting young women in their self discovery through a formal process that guides them thru a sacred doorway toward adulthood. She is a Plant Spirit Medicine healer offering support from nature, and along with her husband, serves their Georgia community as a Sacred Fire Firekeeper, holding ritual space for heart connection and expression.