te·na·cious adjective /təˈnāSHəs/
1. Not readily relinquishing a position, principle, or course of action; determined
2. Persisting in existence; not easily dispelled
3. Jessica Tkachuck

Jessica is a roadie for Invisible Children. She is committed to ending the longest running war in Africa and working to bring hope to the Congo. She is unstoppable in her mission.

As part of the IC Southeast team, Jessica, along with Seth Williams, Katie McKenzie and Adong Evelyn Olla, set out to create change. Being on the road in a van with other humans can be daunting – add to that: weeks of screenings, miles of travel and countless details to line up to make sure that each stop is a huge success and you’ve got a pretty big task ahead of you.

I received a call this past winter from Jessica about working to host a screening in our area. In true slacker non-commital fashion I told her that we just did a screening and that our schedule for the spring was already packed. “Aw, come on,” she said, as she set out to trap me, “we could make this one really awesome.” I folded. She seemed convinced we could pull it off.

In the days, weeks and months following she proved just how committed she was to making this screening awesome. My phone and inbox would light up with messages from her filled with ideas and encouragement and always the reminder of why we were doing this: bring the children home.

Two weeks ago we had over 200 people gathered to watch the latest Invisible Children film “Tony”. There I finally had the chance to meet Jessica. It was interesting because the film celebrates the hardworking people who hit the road for I.C. and I couldn’t help but reflect on Jessica. Here is a girl who could basically do anything and she has committed all of her time and energy to being a voice for the children of Africa. It’s inspiring and powerful to witness.

Last night, Jessica and thousands others gathered in spots all over the world for Invisible Children: 25 : Break the Silence. Over 80,000 people committed to remaining silent for 25 hours, raising at least $25 and helping fund the IC Protection Plan. Together supporters raised over $1,657,000 and made a lot of noise by silently speaking out.

It’s impressive to see what the entire Invisible Children team has been able to accomplish this far. I know it’s only the beginning because at the heart of this movement are tenacious people like Jessica, who know the power they have to make an impact simply by not giving up.

Take a moment to watch this inspiring TEDxTeen talk from Invisible Children roadie Natalie Warne. She aptly titled her talk “Anonymous Extraordinaries” and I think that perfect sums up what makes change happen anywhere and everywhere. Be inspired.


  1. Thien:

    I too had a chance to work with Jessica and coordinate a screening of “Tony” on the University of Memphis campus. Though we were really unlucky and a had really bad storm that discouraged a lot of people from attending, she was still super optimistic on this really dark day. We had an attendance of about 25-30 people, but she still kept on smiling. Her constant emails and phone calls, just motivated me to push even harder in spreading the word on our event and becoming more creative in doing so.

    3:36 am on April 27th, 2011
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