MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — You’ve heard us talk a lot lately about Fraser, but to fully understand what the organization does we invite you to meet Jessica.

Jessica Ferris has been working at Fraser for 23 years, but that’s only part of the connection she has with the group.

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It was 41 years ago that Jessica began her journey with Fraser. Born with Down syndrome, she received physical therapy and development support.

“Jessica can really teach us all that anything is possible,” said Chris Bentley, who works at Fraser. “She’s hard working, has worked hard for what she’s accomplished in her life.”

Jessica now devotes her life to the organization that changed hers. She lives on her own, has worked for decades at Fraser’s preschool, and was recently promoted to an administrative assistant position.

“I’m proud of it and I love it,” Jessica said with tears in her eyes. “I love being there.”

Staff members at Fraser enjoy having her there also.

“[She is] very dedicated, very punctual. If you give her a job, it’s going to get done,” Krista Shaw said.

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But as hard as she works, she plays even harder.

The Fraser school playground is now named in her honor — “Jessica’s Playground.”

Staff say Jessica is a symbol of so many things Fraser represents.

“That early intervention makes all the difference,” Shaw said. “It’s about having the supports you need and people who understand how to provide that.”

Jessica smiles and dances as she looks around her playground.

“This is mine and I love it,” she said.

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To donate to Fraser for WCCO’s Pulling Together, click here.

Susan-Elizabeth Littlefield