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Missionary Currie shows Milwaukee area women a mother's love

Missionary Currie has helped more than 3,000 families in Wisconsin, Racine, Madison, and Kenosha.
Posted at 11:11 AM, Mar 28, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-28 12:11:43-04

MILWAUKEE — Laughter fills the air as 29-year-old Jessica Currie reads to her 5 kids. The family is growing with another baby on the way!

Today Jessica is happily married, but she recalls struggling in her youth. Jessica endured sexual abuse, unavailable parents, and dropping out of high school at 16, a teen pregnancy and homelessness. She recalls sleeping in cars when she was a teen mom.

"I take accountability for me being homeless both times because I wasn't making the right decisions, even though I was a child," Jessica says. "I teach my children to take accountability."

Raised by her grandmother, Jessica went to 11 different schools as a child.

"I was sexually violated at an early age," she says. "I did not know how to express this to my grandmother. I did not know if she was going to believe me. I think I was fighting in school because I really wanted to fight the person that did it. I didn't think I would live to see 21. I would tell people all the time, I'll be dead by 21 so I don't care what I do with my life. I don't care what happens to me. I really do not care."

But Jessica found a way out and even bought a home at the age of 24. She had a job making engine parts for Tesla. She used her own success to found Missionary Currie for Women and Children, Inc. It's a place devoted to helping struggling moms. Mothers can find baby items, shelter, and support. Jessica estimates Missionary Currie has helped more than 3,000 families in Wisconsin, Racine, Madison and Kenosha.

"I want to be full of resources, so you have no choice but to succeed if you come to us," she says.

Tiara Rodgers is one of the women who got help from Jessica and Missionary Currie.

31-year-old Tiara got pregnant when she was 13 and now has 7 children. Tiara is so moved by the program she became a volunteer.

"It's my way of giving back," Tiara says. "It makes me feel good. It's something I want to do."

She says Jessica gives her hope.

"Spiritually, her positive energy, her happiness. she's never mad and I needed to be around people like that," Tiara says. "She basically gave me the boost that I needed. She pushed me to be better. I went back to school! I graduate in May for my GED."

"I could tell she needed someone to be positive and pray for her and kind of nurture her," Jessica says.

Oprah Winfrey even took notice of the work Jessica is doing. Jessica traveled to Minnesota to meet the broadcast legend, who encouraged her to remain committed to helping Moms.

"If you show me that you are trying, I will meet you all way and make sure that you succeed," Jessica says.

The center is named after Jessica's grandmother.

"My grandmother raised us in church," Jessica says. "I rely on God a lot. We are not state funded, or government funded, so a lot of the things we do is from the community."

But Jessica is shy about taking credit.

"I want to continue to be humble. I feel like if I'm cocky and arrogant, I would feel like I accomplished this all on my own," she says. "It takes a community, it takes people. I could not accomplish this just by myself."

Even so, Jessica has made great strides in life. She got her GED at 23 and a bachelor's degree from UW Parkside. She has found a place in her heart to forgive those who hurt her as a child. At only 29 years old, she is nurturing struggling moms and giving her own kids the love and support she was denied as a child.

"I'm happy God had his hands on me," Jessica says. "Missionary Currie is a reflection of who you can become."

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