Jessica Rouse

Jessica Rouse with her son.

Position: Public Affairs Specialist, Defense Commissary Agency

Duties: Facilitate DeCA’s internal communication program

Hometown: Petersburg

Length of federal service: 11 years

Biggest accomplishment in your career: “Through a lot of trial and error, I finally feel comfortable using our publishing software.”

Biggest personal accomplishment: “Buying our first house.”

What aspect of your job challenges you most? “Employee engagement and reach is the most challenging by far.”

The aspect of your job you like the most: “Engaging with employees – sitting down in an interview or giving them a call on the phone, and then communicating their stories to the DeCA world.”

What strengths career-wise are you passing on to others? “I believe my flexibility and inclusivity are my strengths.”

What advice would you give co-workers during this more stressful time? “I believe this very strongly: If you need a break, take the break! We are under so much stress right now, and we need to be sure we are taking exceptional care of ourselves. Get outside and take a walk in the sunshine; turn your favorite music all the way up and dance around; just get up and get active. It will help, I promise. Also, wash your hands, cover your face if you go out and only go out of you have to.”

What are your plans for the future? “I really want to get into caring for my lawn. It helps me to decompress, and my little ones can help.”

What/Who is helping you make it through the COVID-19 challenges and how? “My husband and two boys, of course. We’re reading, enjoying music, television and video games and sharing plenty of outside time.”

What, if anything, are you missing the most right now? “The connection with my family outside of my home. They are a big part of my life, and I miss being able to hug my nieces and nephews the most. Video chat is great up until a certain point, but we are well past that.”

What is one thing that makes you smile, especially now? “Family time; it’s more important than ever, and I’m going to soak up every minute.”

What would surprise people to know about you? “While I love video games, I suck at them, so I live vicariously through my husband who is great at them.”

Favorite quote or saying: “‘It is during our darkest moments we must focus to see the light.’ (Aristotle) Itspeaks volumes during these times.”

What’s the first thing you plan to do when things return to normal? “Have a cookout with my family and friends.”