jess p

Jessica (Jess) Poon, mostly know as Jess P to most of her friends, is a 25 year old entrepreneur residing in downtown Ottawa. She is currently working four jobs as a full time project administrator handling all corporate event logistics at the Public Policy Forum, a wedding and special events decorator at Moonlight Events, a brand ambassador with the Molson Coors Extreme Team, and a bartender at night with Ottawa’s newest speakeasy lounge, Eve.

In 2009, Jess made the biggest decision of her life and left all of her family and her friends behind in West Vancouver to complete her Bachelor of Arts degree at the University of Ottawa. Although at first, she wasn’t entirely sure if she wanted to apply for university after high school, her parents decided to enroll her into the Communications program with Co-op as they believe the program would fit her personality the most.

Jess immediately immersed herself in campus events and later joined a sorority, Xi Delta Theta, where she was remarkably active and held numerous positions from historian chair to formal chair, as well social chair to philanthropy chair. In her last active year, she served as Xi Delta Theta’s Vice President and was presented with the Founders’ Award and Philanthropy Award at the end of the year for her dedication and commitment to the sorority and to the community.

When she graduated in 2014, Jess found her passion for event planning, which led her to apply for the post-graduate certificate program in Event Management at Algonquin College. A year later, she graduated with over 300 internship hours with Ottawa Venues and the Royal Commonwealth Society, making her one of the top students to complete that many hours in the history of the program. During her time in the post-graduate program, students were required to organize an event on a $0 budget with proceeds going to the Children’s Wish Foundation as part of the program’s curriculum. Jess and her team created Cirque D’Illusion.

Months after graduation, Jess decided to take the plunge and got certified as a wedding consultant and coordinator with the Wedding Planners Institute of Canada, taking the first step in the right direction for her dream job. When asked with the question, ‘why she wants to be a wedding planner?’, she explained enthusiastically that she sees it “more than a career, but instead a lifestyle”. With that said, Jess has recently started her own wedding and lifestyle blog.

jess pJess also admits that she caught the travel bug early, as it has been part of her upbringing since she was young. Born in Toronto, she moved to Hong Kong with her family at a young age till she was ten years old, where she then moved to the beautiful coast of British Columbia. Jess recalled that when she first arrived in Canada, she “didn’t know a word of English” and had no idea how to fit in properly with the students in her class. Two years later, she was fluent and then enrolled in the French Immersion program at a nearby middle school. Since then, Jess has been back to Hong Kong a couple of times with her family and even toured the major cities of China, as well as climbing the notorious Great Wall of China. In 2015, she had the opportunity to travel to Montenegro to represent the School of Hospitality from Algonquin College. However, her first big trip was when she backpacked in the Mediterranean for over a month in Spain, Greece, Croatia, and Italy after graduation, which was described as the trip of a lifetime. Jess says that travelling “pushes you to become better, but can also help you discover who you are as a person and what your purpose is in life.

On top of event planning, travelling and her other jobs, Jess also truly enjoys helping others, a trait she developed at a young age. She was in Air Cadets when she discovered an interest for leadership development and youth empowerment. She attended multiple leadership summer camps and was given the skills and tools to mentor youth between the ages of 12-18. She was a team captain at Exile Island, an annual event hosted by the Children’s Wish Foundation. Jess was also a preschool helper at the Ottawa Children’s Treatment Centre for almost two years. Currently, Jess is a volunteer ambassador for World Vision, and hopes to be able to sponsor her own child one day and she has recently just joined the fundraising committee with The Door Youth Centre. In addition, she recently accepted a board position with an American organization called Lit Without Limits, a not-for-profit that empowers young girls, aged 8 to 24, through the power of literature. Jess hopes to lead their first international chapter in Ottawa this year with the help of local ambassadors and friends. Working as a mentor for ambiSHEous; a new program that teaches girls aged 12-14 financial literacy and entrepreneurialism as tools to make a positive impact in the world is also another one of Jess’ proudest accomplishments. On top of that, she is looking to start her own for-purpose organization in the future empowering women around the world.

To conclude, Jess tells readers, “do not worry so much about the future because the time is now. Learn to live in the present and do what your heart desires because that will help you find yourself and grow into someone you want to be. Don’t waste your time caring about what other people think, but invest your energy into your personal goals. Follow your passions and don’t give up. Everyone is a diamond in the rough, and as Sophia Bush once said, ‘you are allowed to be a masterpiece and a work-in-process, simultaneously’. So… Accept that. Value that. Be that.

Feel free to find out more on Jess by checking her out on her official website, Instagram, Twitter and Linkedin pages.