• 72°

East Rowan student overcomes tragedy

Last June, the unthinkable happened when 17-year-old Jessica Fesperman’s family van collided with a tractor-trailer. The wreck claimed the life of her 35-year-old mother, Jennifer, and injured her father and younger siblings.
The accident, which occurred in Albemarle, changed Fesperman’s life forever. “It’s put me in a leadership position,” she said.
Since then, Fesperman has earned the right to graduate early, allowing her to stay home and help take care of her brother, Phillip, and sister, Jordan. Fesperman added, “I’m trying to help dad around the house.” Her contributions include cooking, cleaning and taking family members to doctor appointments.
“I wanted to be a kid, but I had to go ahead and grow up to take care of them,” Fesperman said. The experience has brought her and her sister closer, but has also motivated her to want to do more for herself.
“I just want to go ahead and go to school and start my life,” Fesperman said, adding that she doesn’t want to stick around the house.
While she’s had to grow up over the past year, Fesperman is still a teenager. “I like to be with my friends,” she said.
Fesperman is a Rockwell native and has attended Rockwell Elementary, Erwin Middle and Rowan County Early College before transferring to East Rowan High School her junior year.
Although she graduated in January, Fesperman will walk with her classmates June 12.
She hopes to attend Rowan-Cabarrus Community College to study culinary arts before transferring to Johnson and Wales University in Charlotte. Fesperman developed her love of cooking from the times she spent cooking with her mother and grandmother. Her favorite dishes to prepare are her grandmother’s baklava and baked macaroni.
More than just helping to take care of her family, Fesperman enjoys taking care of her animals. She has a miniature potbellied pig named Penelope and chickens. Taking care of her pets, she said, “gets me in a happy mood.”

Comments

Comments closed.

News

Catawba College hosts three in-person commencement ceremonies

Local

With high case loads causing numerous staff departures, Child Protective Services seeks more positions

Education

Livingstone College graduates celebrate ‘crossing the finish line’ during commencement celebration

Coronavirus

Rowan sees 4 new COVID-19 deaths as mask mandate lifted, vaccines administered continue decline

Local

Spencer is latest town updating its development ordinance

Local

Salisbury native Kristy Woodson Harvey makes NY Times bestseller list

Local

Board of Commissioners will convene for third time in May

Business

Biz Roundup: Salisbury, Kannapolis among recipients of Region of Excellence Awards

Local

Cheerleading team competes at Disney

Education

Salisbury High to celebrate football, swimming champions with parade

High School

High school girls soccer: Isley, Webb lead all-county team

Local

Spencer awarded $10,000 to develop trails at Stanback Forest

Books

‘Tails and Tales’ coming to library this summer

Local

Public Records: March Deeds

Entertainment

Salisbury Symphony’s ‘Return to the Concert Hall’ available May 24-31

Coronavirus

Salisbury teen becomes one of first in age group to receive COVID-19 vaccine

Business

Local farm and creamery poised to add goat yoga, artisan goat cheese to offerings

Local

Pandemic’s impact, uncertainty of transit funding prompt request to eliminate Rowan Express service

Lifestyle

New Waterworks’ exhibit opens June 1

High School

High school football: Walsh accepts the South football challenge

Lifestyle

Price of Freedom Museum gets donated landscape project

Lifestyle

Rowan Museum will have Upscale Yard Sale Saturday

Business

Seventh dragon boat festival set for July 24; deadline for sponsorships is May 28

Nation/World

‘Shocking and horrifying’: Israel destroys AP office in Gaza