Empire State Building, NEW YORK— Soon-to-be freshman Jessica Gibson began her presentation in the Founder’s Room without a hint of hesitation.
“How the times have changed,” she said, holding a copy of the New York Times. “Let me show you what I mean.”
For the next eight minutes, Jessica personified the Times as a woman named after the newspaper’s popular nickname, the Grey Lady, illustrating its triumphs and failures throughout its history by draping an assortment of scarves around her neck.
She also illustrated how the times at King’s have changed when she won the competition and its prize, the first full ride scholarship offered at King’s.
”Creating a character, writing a story, bringing something to life— it’s my sweet spot,” Jessica said.
Talking with Jessica months later, I feel like I’m encountering her in that same ‘sweet spot.’ Her life story is an adventure, and her demeanor resembles a heroine on the brink of something big.
If her upcoming move to New York doesn’t seem big enough, Jessica has had quite the adventure at home this summer. The daughter in a military family currently stationed in Colorado Springs, she’s just been through a fire that caused the Air Force Academy to evacuate for the first time in history.
Jessica volunteers on the media team for the cadet yearbook and is writing a story on the fire that will begin the book. With 346 homes burned, Jessica says this will leave an “emotional scar in the town for quite some time.”
Jessica has a love for journalism and for finding God in tragedy. She hopes to correct the way “the media has fallen so far away from an unbiased standard of truth” by incorporating “a sense of God back in the media.” King’s was the “only choice” over two journalism-specific colleges when she considered how she needed to “gain a better basis in [her] own faith.”
Jessica believes the Media, Culture and Arts major is “tailored to [her] desires for a career.” She takes great pleasure in analyzing current trends, such as The Hunger Games because they are a “social commentary on what our taste in entertainment could lead to.” Jessica explains that Americans are addicted to watching fictional murders, and “that kind of thrill” is one that should make our country weary.
She believes that analytical quality emerges from her ability to immerse herself in story.
“It’s very difficult to read the book and not ask yourself what would I do in those situations?” she said, relating herself to Katniss in The Hunger Games.
As she compares herself to a fictional hero, she embraces her calling to uncover more truth in the media.
King’s will welcome her in August into the House of Corrie ten Boom, and the next step in Jessica’s adventure will begin. Jessica says she has always seen ten Boom as a role model. Corrie’s “courage and her story have always kind of stuck with me,” she said.
Watch Jessica’s winning performance below: