Tahquitz High School’s Marriage and Family Therapist, Jessica Oakes, will be honored by California State Assemblymember Jose Medina on Saturday, March 18th. Oakes will receive the Woman of Distinction Award for her contributions to the Hemet community. Recipients of this award are selected for being a role model for young women and for their exemplified courage, strength, and vision.
Oakes started her position at Tahquitz back in August, and has been instrumental in creating a positive culture on campus. She has created two mental health fairs to stop the negative stigma around mental health, created the “It’s okay to…” campaign where students are able to relate to challenges they are facing, and created three groups among freshman girls to discuss how they can empower each other.
“My goal has always been to be a role model, not only to young females, but to all students,” said Oakes. She said she tries to put her all into everything she does to meet the needs of students on campus. “I can’t control what happens to students outside these walls, but I can control the positive experience they have while attending Tahquitz.”
Oakes often creates thoughtful discussions with her students. In the girl groups she created, they discuss self-esteem, social media, the definition of beauty and how it is subjective, and the importance of empowering those around you. She said she is working with students to change their dialogue to something more positive and to look at themselves in a better light.
Congratulations on your Woman of Distinction Award and for the inspiring message you give to the students at Tahquitz each and every day.