• 75°

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.

Crime

Blotter: Sept. 19

Coronavirus

Kannapolis brewery linked to eight COVID-19 positives

Elections

Local Democrats call to ‘turn the state blue’ during virtual office reopening

Education

Funding flat, enrollment down slightly for Rowan-Salisbury Schools

Education

Catawba gets high marks in U.S. News and World rankings for fifth year

Business

China Grove soap store sets sights on expansion into Kannapolis

News

Charlotte, UNC game canceled after 49ers place players in quarantine

Crime

Blotter: Sept. 18

Coronavirus

County sees ninth COVID-19 death this week, more than 30 cases reported

BREAKING NEWS

Gov. Cooper announces schools can move K-5 to plan A; school board vote needed locally

Local

Wet weather brings crashes, traffic to standstill on interstate

Crime

Salisbury man victim of Facebook scam, duped out of $2,000

Crime

Two charged after fight outside Salisbury home

Education

Rowan-Salisbury Schools ships out thousands of old devices for refurbishing

Education

Caught in the infodemic: NC school policies frustrated by scientific challenges

East Spencer

East Spencer to hold community day, provide free food, supplies

Education

Shoutouts

Landis

Landis officials provide plan for COVID-19 funds, discuss town’s financial position

Education

Blattner brought technology into schools before it was cool

Education

State has slight decline in SAT scores

Local

New environmental specialists begin work on backlog soil evaluations

Local

Friends, colleagues say Seay left his mark on Rowan judicial system

Elections

Rep. Howard says ‘still work to be done’ as she seeks 17th term in House

Nation/World

Trump disputes health officials, sees mass vaccinations soon