JACKIE JESSUP HAS MANY TALENTS.
The senior starred on the Fort Bend Christian Academy volleyball, softball and track and field team over the past few years. At one point, Jessup even attempted swimming – which is what her mother competed in at the University of Houston – but eventually stuck to three sports.
Softball is the sport that has carried Jessup into a collegiate scholarship at Houston Baptist University with hopes of walking on to the track team as well. Along with being talented athletically, Jessup has also found a confidence in speaking in front of large groups about her faith and love of Christ. She wants to launch into a career of ministry.
"I want to do youth ministry and work with teenage girls," Jessup said. "When I was 12, I started helping my mom teach vacation bible school, so for the longest time I thought I wanted to be a teacher. The older I got, I realized I liked talking in front of large groups of people. I am confident in doing it.
"Obviously, my love for Christ has grown so much through these four years of high school, so just being able to be involved in a church and help teenage girls through silly things like gossiping and drama."
Sports have always been a big part of Jessup's life and in sports, just like life, there are ups and downs. Athletes are a group that Jessup would want to minister to as well, because having been in their shoes as a teenager she can relate to what they go through. The battle of self-worth is the main thing she would focus on.
"I feel like sports relate so much to life," Jessup said. "Sometimes life knocks you down and you feel like you're just not competing well at life in general. You will feel that it's affecting your self-worth but that's not true. We all have fallen short of the glory of God. Him dying for us means our self-worth does not waver. It's the same whether we hit the ball or don't. Whether we have a ton of friends in high school or one good friend or no friends, he is the same through all of that. "Just talking to athletes and young teenagers, that's the center of what I'd like to teach people about."
Another area that can be tough for a teenager – especially a girl – is social media. Jessup admitted there have been times that she has gotten off social media to give herself a break because about "70 percent" of it can be negative. But there is a positive side of social media, which she wants to harness the power of in the future of her ministry to others.
"I think there's a lot of good things with social media," Jessup said. "I think it's an awesome platform to reach out to people and show your personal information, like who you are and what you're accomplishing. It's a good platform for what I want to do in ministry. Reaching out and inserting passages into captions on Instagram or vlogs or blogs people do. I think it can be used for good."