Below are the stories of volunteerism and engagement inspired by Jessica’s story. Read the stories, see the smiles, and continue to be moved to action.
“Remember there’s no such thing as a small act of kindness. Every act creates a ripple with no logical end.” – Scott Adams
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To put it simply, I can’t imagine one life that Jessica Lutton Bedient did not touch. Jessica has been a role model for me since the day that I met her, and I have always been awed by her generosity, compassion, and charisma. She always knew what to say, how to say it, and never failed to reach out to a friend in need.
She marked Jessica Delay, Brigid, and I for NHRI and submitted our names to Chris Swanson when we were just freshmen- she invested in all of us from the beginning. When I hit a rough spot, Jess and I talked weekly about how she had been through the same situation, and she sent me notes and letters encouraging me to have faith, that everything would work out in the end. Even though she had graduated, she stood by me, supporting me through all that I did. She read over my Innocent’s Society application and was sitting in the room when we were all knighted together as 103s. Just like Jess, Shaundra, and Emily had been the three Innocents from Alpha Phi, Brigid, Jessica DeLay, and I could not have been happier or more honored to follow in their footsteps. To say we looked up to them was an understatement.
Jess saw the possibility in everyone, and she has shaped my life in countless ways, and I am not sure there are adequate enough words to truly express how amazing she is and how much she meant to me. With certainty, I know that the cumulative effect of her wisdom, kindness, and love cannot be measured; there isn’t a number high enough. Jess will never leave us because she has left her handprint on each one of our heart’s. She was a true friend, role model, and confidant, and now when I pray, I will see and feel her words of wisdom through rays of sunshine. Rest peacefully beautiful friend. You will forever mean so much to me.
When reflecting on all of Jess’s amazing qualities, her spirit of adventure and passion for life is something that always inspired me.
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I was first introduced to Jessica when she began serving as my little sister’s NHRI counselor in 2003. I was always impressed by her cheerful demeanor and contagious smile. Over three years she developed an incredible relationship built on the principles of leadership with my younger sister Carissa. She also was able to build meaningful relationships with each member of our family. It didn’t take long before Jessica was one of our own. She was such a giving person and was always offering positive encouragement. It was so nice to see her weekly as she came to our house to spend time with Carissa. If the Camry was in the driveway when you arrived home, you knew something special was happening inside.
I was in my senior year of high school in 2003 when Jessica joined our family. I was fortunate to have her guide my transition into life at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in 2004. I had not realized the impact she had on the entire UNL community until I was able to spend time with her as a colleague at UNL, volunteering through the many organizations UNL has to offer.
Jessica was influential in my decision to join Beta Theta Pi Fraternity at UNL. Through Beta I was able to volunteer in a variety of events from highway cleanup on Interstate 80 to assisting with clean up in Hallum, NE following a tornado. Along with nearly 100 brothers in Beta I would estimate we put in over 1,000 hours of community service annually.
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