Hi, I’m Jessica! I’ve been a Certified Child Life Specialist since August 2015 and a few years after I started, it finally clicked that mentoring students was one of my greatest gifts. From 2016-2021, I taught students as Practicum Coordinator of a small children’s hospital within an adult hospital.

In 2018, I began mentoring students from all over the world online over Zoom as The Child Life Mentor. Since the summer of 2020, I have hosted three in-person student retreat opportunities in Ohio, Indiana, and Missouri. Here, students have traveled from all over the country to have a seat at the table with other students going through the same thing and with me right there next to them to learn from and ask any and all questions. My hope is to continue retreats each summer (stay tuned and always be in the know by following me on Instagram at @thechildlifementor for future opportunities – click here).

Since 2019, I have also began designing, creating, and selling merchandise (stickers and shirts). All profit from items that I create that are child life related go towards a $1,000 scholarship that is given out each semester (on Instagram), specifically for interns. Coming up, in Spring 2023, I will be giving out the 10th Child Life Wild Life $1,000 student scholarship.  All merchandise can be found here.

In June 2021, I created a podcast – The Child Life Wild Life Podcast – that creates space for Certified Child Life Specialists, students, and professionals to talk about topics surrounding the field of child life. My hope for this podcast is that you can gain tangible next steps and confidence as you learn how to use your child life skills, protect your mental health, and glean inspiration, hope, and ideas. Click here to listen on Apple Podcasts.

In August 2021, I moved to the school setting full-time after proposing a school Certified Child Life Specialist position to help create a full-circle mental health team, focusing on collaborating with school counselors, social workers, and administration to provide support and services to students. I am absolutely in love.

In January 2022, I was chosen to help co-author a chapter in a new child life textbook coming out hopefully within the next year all about child life in non-traditional settings. I, along with two co-authors, had the honor of writing the chapter on child life in the schools. Stay tuned for more information!

In August 2022, I hung up my hat as The Child Life Mentor. I think I’ll always be “The Child Life Mentor” on social media, but not in the same capacity as I used to. Sharing free content and giving tips and tricks to help students and professionals grow, I think will always be something I do naturally. But through all the things I’ve accomplished, even just in the last 5 years, I’m learning from myself that perhaps I need to step back and protect my own mental and physical health by not doing it all.

I am always available to chat via email (childlifewildlife@gmail.com) or through a DM on Instagram (@thechildlifementor).