Jessica Brown was the winner of the People's Choice Community Hero Award at the 2013 NSW Women of the Year Awards.
Jessica Brown is the founder and CEO of Life Changing Experiences Foundation and its SISTER2Sister mentoring program, which has changed the lives of hundreds of young women across NSW.
For most people, it is easier just to be a bystander. Not for this young powerhouse. Jessica is committed to assisting disadvantaged and underprivileged young girls by giving them the chance to break the cycle of destitution and abuse. The SISTER2Sister mentoring and risk management program is designed to empower ‘at risk’ teenage girls to make positive choices for a better future. Each girl (Little Sister) is matched with a stable role model (Big Sister) who is a professional woman from the community.
Jessica oversees up to 50 Big and Little Sisters each year, along with a team of leaders and volunteer psychologists. Her passion and determination for this generation to have a better future is what drives her. She is the one on the end of the phone in the middle of the night, finding emergency accommodation for the girls, or counselling them through experiences no person should ever have to endure. She has encouraged young women to complete school and to pursue university studies. For some of the graduates of the SISTER2Sister program they are the first in their family to have a job.
Jessica is regularly asked to comment in the media about women’s issues, and offer parenting advice on key topics relating to teenagers such as bullying, cyber safety, teenage crime and most recently the dangers of ‘sexting’.
In 2010 Jessica suffered her own personal tragedy when her younger brother was killed in a violent crime. Jessica’s extraordinary compassion was further established when she found out the man convicted of killing her brother had experienced a life of poverty, violence and abuse. This fuelled her passion to ensure that vulnerable teenage girls are given the necessary support to overcome domestic abuse, strive for an education and are prepared for motherhood.
In 2011, Jessica co-wrote her first book, ‘Cooked with love: Recipes my mother taught me’, with all the proceeds from sales of the book going to the SISTER2Sister program.
No matter what the obstacle, Jessica finds a way to ensure her work continues. As she says: 'By helping one vulnerable girl at a time, we are positively changing the lives of future generations to come by turning walls into bridges'.
Jessica Brown has changed the course of hundreds of young women’s lives. This makes her a true community hero.