Meet Jessica

Sam and Jessica Filing compress

Meet Sam’s Spouse (and Partner) Jessica García-Kohl

Jessica’s journey reflects a lifelong dedication to social impact and community development. Her family’s connection to the region spans four generations, beginning with her grandfather who, with an 8th-grade education, emphasized the importance of education to improve one’s circumstances. 

In line with her grandfather’s ethos, Jessica pursued her education, commuting from Morgan Hill to the Peninsula by train to attend high school at Sacred Heart Preparatory. After graduating from college at Brandeis University, she returned home to manage a shelter for abused women and their children, and establish cross-sector collaborations to combat intimate partner violence. This marked the beginning of her dedicated advocacy for women, children, and marginalized populations.

Jessica furthered her education by completing a joint Master’s program at U.C. Berkeley in Public Health and Public Policy. Armed with this knowledge, she assumed roles in local government and nonprofits. In these professional roles, and through board service, Jessica has dedicated herself to creating housing, workforce, and educational opportunities for hundreds of low-income families.

Currently, Jessica is continuing her lifelong dedication to philanthropy and service as the Executive Director at the Westly Foundation. She also serves on the Board of Directors for organizations such as Braven, KIPP Northern California, and Mid-Peninsula Housing, working every day to enhance the lives of many first-generation, college-bound students and strengthen the communities that shaped her success.

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