LifeChanger of the Year Nominee Profile

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Jessica Richards

Position: U.S. History Teacher
School: Harrison Central High School
School District: Harrison County School District
City, State: Gulfport , MS

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Jessica Richards was nominated by Karen Gac, the parent of a student.

"She is an amazing teacher who doesn't have just students. They are her children," Gac said. "They look up to her because she respects them as young adults trying to make it through their high school years. She listens to them and opens their heart and mind to history. If you go to the school and ask any students about her, you will know exactly why she deserves to be recognized as a LifeChanger."

Comments (125)

Rosa Posted over a year ago

You are so inspiring. I am going through so much. Each day i watch your videos to help put a smile on my face. Thank you for being a real teacher that really do care about the students. You will be a great mother you are a great person and an inspiration to us All. Be Blessed Beautiful

Regina Brooks Posted over a year ago

Ms. Jessica; you are an AMAZING WOMAN! I was watch your you tube wig reviews all time and I must say you keep me laughing?? There is so much more to you than what is on the outside. Thank you for sharing your GOD given gift with our children! At the appointed time you will be blessed with the desires of your heart! Peace and Blessings

Kathryn Irby Posted over a year ago

Hi Jessica, You are definitely an above-average teacher!!! I was so impressed by you when I heard your story on WLOX! You have so much to offer students, since you were blessed with such a God-given talent! (Of course, you have my vote!) Kathryn Gulfport, MS

Latiesha Olive Posted over a year ago

Jessica Richards is the perfect example of a leader, teacher, educator and most importantly a life changer. Not only does she impact the lives of the students but others that she encounters. She inspires people to go after their dreams, live life with intention and purpose, discover gifts and talents within themselves, and be the best they can be. She is the model of what a teacher should be. A leader by example. This is a honor for Jessica to be nominated for such an amazing achievement. She is truly a Life Changer!

Toni Davis Posted over a year ago

I just watched your interview on WLOX. I just want to tell you to keep up the amazing job you are doing. Just watching you in the video made me smile and filled my heart with joy. You are absolutely beautiful and I’m sure you are that mother that some kids don’t have. We definitely need more teachers like yourself in our schools. I can tell that you truly love your babies and they love you. I pray that very soon God will give you the blessing of birthing your own angel. Thank you for being obedient to you true calling and letting God use you. May all the blessings you can receive be given to you in abundance. ??????

Akiyah Posted over a year ago

you are beautiful

Kenyon Trammell Posted over a year ago

Words could not explain how much Ms.Richards motivated me as a student and even as a person. With her magnetic positive energy and constant charisma, Ms.Richards was walking hope for students Harrison Central High School. My time in her US history class will never be forgotten. I will forever be a HISTORIAN ??????

S. Jordan Gayten Posted over a year ago

Ms. Richards's enthusiasm, positivity, and knowledge not only illuminates her classroom but is spread abroad to everyone she encounters. As her co-worker, I can attest to her dynamic teaching style that draws in students and teachers alike. Ms. Richards epitomizes the words "life changer" through her various actions and deeds.

Latira Latimore Posted over a year ago

Although i have never met Ms. Richards i must say she is like a best friend to me. Her personality is very rare and very bright. I love her style and her attitude towards live and living your life to the fullest. The love and affection she has shown her students is the type of love i wish my kids could have (I live in Miami). I will forever be a true fan of hers and i wish her nothing but love, peace and happiness!.

Samantha Nguyen Posted over a year ago

Ms. Richards is such an amazing educator, person, and woman altogether. She has a very strong passion about teaching and thrives on giving her students the best knowledge in history and life! I hated history, but after leaving her class, I learned so much and love researching about it now. She is so supportive as well! She acknowledged my artistic abilities in her classroom and now supports me in getting a BFA in graphic design. She has a spark and happiness that everyone should get a chance to meet.

Linnea Posted over a year ago

This wonderful, intelligent woman has had such a huge impact on my daughter’s life. I can tell Ms. Richards loves and cares about ALL her students. She was my child’s history teacher. My daughter loved history before Ms. Richards was her teacher/mentor. It is because of Ms. Richards that my daughter fell in love with history. Ms. Richards took my daughter on her first (educational) overseas trip. She also took VERY GOOD care of her and all the other students on that trip. Ms. Richards influenced her so much, that she majored in International Studies in college and now has her dream internship at the Smithsonian in Washington DC. She would not be on this awesome track if it wasn’t for Ms. Richards. To this day, Ms. Richards still treats my daughter as if she’s her own. I even heard Ms. Richards call my daughter by the same nickname I have for her. What are the odds?! You could not have made a better choice by choosing Ms. Richards for this honor. If you look up “life changer” in the dictionary, surely you’ll see her beautiful face.

Kelsey Willis Posted over a year ago

Growing up, I never really had a history class. When I got to her class, I was so overwhelmed by the amount of love she had for history and for us. Ms. Richards made the classroom feel like a home and we always knew that classroom 118 was a forever place to go. I will forever be grateful for Ms. Richards and how much she has impacted my life. She’s a big part of the reason that I am going to school for education. She has shown me the type of teacher I want to be; compassionate, caring, loving, understanding, and above all else selfless. She isn’t any of these things because she has to, she’s this way because she wants to help students and be a light in the darkness. If anyone deserves this award, it’s Ms. Richards.

Mandy Posted over a year ago

Ms Richards is a life changer not just for her students but for her community of people who looks up to her! She is a comfort to the soul!! She speaks what needs to be spoken in a great way! Rather she knows it or not she teaches even when she isn’t in school!! #beautifulSoul

Hayden Adelman Posted over a year ago

I met Ms. Richards my sophomore year of high school, back in 2012. She was our student council’s representative for the sophomores, so I had the opportunity of working close to her. From the moment I met her she brought nothing but positivity and a strong foundation for leadership. She taught me that no matter what life throws at you, you can be whatever you choose to be, and grow and evolve into a person that you want to become. Even though we have not spoken in a few years, I keep up with her social media, and it’s safe to say she inspires me and my friends to be great in every aspect of life. She deserves nothing but praise for the work she’s done!

Renee F Morris Posted over a year ago

Ms. Richards is the kind of teacher I wish I had when I was growing up. When ever she talks she makes me ask questions that I really want to find the answers to. She makes learning fun and has a great sense of humor. And she makes me want to be the best person that I can be.

Hayden Adelman Posted over a year ago

I met Ms. Richards my sophomore year of high school, back in 2012. She was our student council’s representative for the sophomores, so I had the opportunity of working close to her. From the moment I met her she brought nothing but positivity and a strong foundation for leadership. She taught me that no matter what life throws at you, you can be whatever you choose to be, and grow and evolve into a person that you want to become. Even though we have not spoken in a few years, I keep up with her social media, and it’s safe to say she inspires me and my friends to be great in every aspect of life. She deserves nothing but praise for the work she’s done!

Stephanie Burge Posted over a year ago

Ms. Richards is a one of a kind teacher. She genuinely cares about her students. My oldest daughter didn’t even have her as a teacher and still spoke her praises. Ms. Richards still treats her like she taught her. I was not going to let my youngest daughter miss out on being a student/historian of hers. I wanted my child to have the best history teacher and experience available at HCHS. Very thankful for this selfless, inspiring, authentic, full of life woman!

Amy Nguyen Posted over a year ago

Jessica is truly an inspiration to everyone she meets. She inspires students to want to learn history and to open their eyes to a new perspective. She inspires her fellow teachers to want to be better at what they do and to make class more interesting and relevant. She inspires students, teachers, and parents by taking trips all over the world every summer so that students have the opportunity to actually learn about history and culture hands on. She inspires students to take their learning to a whole new level when they leave Harrison Central High School and she is there encouraging them 100 percent of the way. Students come back to visit her YEARS after they have graduated to fill her in all of their adventures or to even ask advice on their next step. Jessica is an amazing teacher and I can’t wait to see what is in line for her next.

Payton Posted over a year ago

Had her my junior year. Definitely a favorite ??

Anisa Treviño Posted over a year ago

The think past what the history books tell you because you have a mind and knowledge at your fingertips teacher. I will forever be thankful for Ms. Richards and her class. She made everyone feel like they were at home. I love my family but sometimes I would have rather been in her classroom. She made learning fun and exciting and rewarding. I cared about my grades so I did almost every extra credit which I barely needed because she taught so well I don’t think I made less than a 90 on anything. I did a project on Neil Armstrong and I haven’t checked recently but it just might still be on her wall. That’s how much she cared. I also went to London, Paris and Rome and man, I will never stop talking about that trip. Her passion and love for travel gave me the opportunity to do it as well. I will hype Ms. Richards up forever because she’s just that deserving.

Simone Holmes Posted over a year ago

There is such a stigma attached to history classes. Almost every history teacher makes students read out of a textbook and call it a day. However, Ms. Richards understands how students learn and goes above and beyond to teach in ways that students will be able to comprehend easily. Not only is she amazing at adapting to the needs of her students, she is a second mother to all of her students, former students, and even some students who have never taken her class. She gives many students a reason to come to school because they know that if they wont learn anything all day, they will when they enter Room 118. Even though some do not get the opportunity to take her class, they are able to meet her and travel to various places in the world with her if they choose. In one of many ways, any student can be greatly impacted by her. In essence, “life changer” is an understatement. Ms. Richards has been and will continue to be one of the greatest impacts on any child’s life that has had an encounter with her. From incredible bonds with her students to remarkable teaching ability, Ms. Richards is truly the best teacher I (and anyone else in my school who have taken her class or been on an international trip with her) have ever had.

Katelyn turner Posted over a year ago

You will not find a student at HCHS that doesn’t love and trust Ms. Richards. She makes sure to not only teach these students but also mentor and guide them. She cares for each of her students and shows them respect while always being a safe place and listening ear. Her students develop a passion for her craft and leave her classroom both more knowledgeable about history and every day life. They also leave knowing no matter what they have done or where they will go she is always in their corner. She leaves a lasting impact on all students who cross her path, most of which desperately need to see this support and Level of encouragement. Every teacher/leader/mentor should strive for the relationship Ms. Richards builds with her students.

Kristine Hatcher Posted over a year ago

Because of Ms. Richards I fell in love with learning. That translated to a love for teaching later in life. I am now two semesters away from my BS in special education and elementary education. She has had more impact in my life from high school to now than she will ever know.

Ciarra Toplin Posted over a year ago

I don’t personally know Jessica, but I love her. Her personality lights up my timeline. The love she has for those children amazes me. She’s family oriented and literally everyone loves her. You would be a silly rabbit not to give her this award.

Naomi McBride Posted over a year ago

Ms.Richards was my history teacher in 2012! That year was the hardest in my life from being bullied to dealing with severe ADHD. She stepped up and tutored me before and after school, had my back when a kid would say anything about me, & she taught me to live history! Ms.Richards found each and every way that and student learned the best and made plans to fit those needs! She goes above and beyond for HER kids!

Maggie Kibbey Posted over a year ago

Not only is Ms. Richards THE best teacher I have ever had to this day, she is one of the greatest humans that I have ever met. Thanks to her, I have been able to see the world in a different light. Some fellow students and I took a trip to Europe after we graduated and it was the best two weeks of my life. She didn’t care about the time she was having while there; she was making sure every single one of us was having the time of our lives. Her selflessness, humbleness, and ability to care for someone that she just met are just a few reasons she deserves this. She’s always going above and beyond with everything she does. Not because she has to, but because she wants to. That’s just who Ms. Richards is.

Makenzie Burge Posted over a year ago

Ms. Richards is the best history teacher. I don’t mean that just because I like her. I mean she is the best because she makes history interesting and everyone in the class is participating. She makes sure she gives us perspectives on every topic there is for us to be more open minded. She is there for you no matter what you need. She is a mom to all of us no matter if she is your teacher or not.

Catherine Posted over a year ago

I can't tell you how refreshing it is to see a teacher who enjoys every day with her students no matter what the conditions. I've seen students and parents, past and present, praise and appreciate her for not only being a teacher, but also a mentor for more than just the subject she teaches. Seeing her on her trips with her students or in the classroom reminds me of the teachers/mentors I had when I was in school. Students need individuals like Jessica to prepare them for life as do the parents. Its refreshing to know my own children could still have this connection/experience with their future teachers.

Nicolas Jennings Posted over a year ago

Ms.Richards is the best teacher I have come across. Even now she surpasses them all. Not only is she a great teacher, she is a great friend to anyone who walks through her classroom doors. She can take a kid who was a week from dropping out and turn them into someone who has a passion for history. If you have been in any of her classes you will hear her say she has job offers from schools all over the coast yet she stays at HC because she loves everyone there. That's what makes her not just a great teacher but a great person.

Valarie Posted over a year ago

Ms. Richards is so much more than a teacher to her students. She is their mentor, their school mom, their counselor, their voice of reason, their cheerleader, and their prayer warrior. For many students, she is the only person they feel they can confide in and trust. She is there for them when no one else is. The love that these kids have for her is immense, and she loves them back even more. She loves the kids that no one else loves, and she can get through to them when no one else can. Her students, her Historians, are her students for life.

Skye Hawkins Posted over a year ago

She’s the absolute best in or out of school !!!

Laocia Jones Posted over a year ago

I love you Mrs.Richards and I won’t to say thanks for everything u fill my ears up with about history.

Dawn P. Posted over a year ago

Ms. Richards is an amazing teacher and person. She shines, inspires and gives the best to her scholars. We are so very thankful for her!

Nathalie Posted over a year ago

Jessica’s YouTube videos has helped me in more ways than one! I hope she gets this well deserved award!

Faye Anne Young Posted over a year ago

I've never met Jessica in person but I feel as if she's is one of my sister-friends. I remember one of her videos on her channel in which she encouraged anyone in her audience to take a leap of faith & accomplish any goal they wanted. Not to be afraid & to just go for it. Fast forward to months later, I reached out to Jessica via e-mail & expressed my wanting to take my leap of faith. Her words reaffirmed me & calmed my fears. Her advice help me to launch my own channel & I am forever grateful for her influence. If Jessica can change my life...basically a stranger; my mind can't begin to imagine what she does on a day to day basis with those close to her. The impact she must have with her students & colleagues has got to be nothing less than stellar! She is definitely deserving of this Life Changer nomination & ultimately chosen as its recipient!

Gail Talley Posted over a year ago

Ms. Jessica Richards helped change my life by sharing the history lessons she was quizzing her historians with, being a 68 year old person who didn't get it in my school system At the time, if you showed up for class you passed. Ms. Richards is also encouraging and transparent, she has a way to uplift you and not be judgemental if you are different and don't fit the "mold" she loves you anyway and there is nothing you can do about it. Now she is a role model even to myself who is twice her age. I'm blessed to know her and have never met her in person. Thank you for allowing me to comment.

Emily Gonzalez Posted over a year ago

Jessica is such an inspirational figure in so many lives. She is hardworking, kind, hilarious and real. She goes above and beyond for her students every single day and works her butt off to show them the world. She is so selfless and is definitely a Life Changer!!!

Celine L. Posted over a year ago

I never had Ms. Richards personally as a teacher, but I was involved in the History Club at Harrison Central. I don't think I've ever witnessed someone so passionate about teaching history. Whether it be in the classroom or at a museum, you can guarantee that Ms. Richards' enthusiasm for the subject truly impacted her students. It's comforting to know there are educators in this world who care so much about their students. However, It's far more comforting to know these educators exist in my own hometown! I want nothing more than to continue to see her have a positive influence on all of her students.

Cynthia Cummings Posted over a year ago

Jessica Richards is such an amazing person. She's loving, caring, giving, intelligent, funny. She's just as beautiful on the outside as she is on the inside. I came to know her about a year and a half ago via her YouTube channel. She does wig reviews, makeup tutorials and travel vlogs. She has even done history lectures just to help her historians with testing. She's always talking about her historians. They mean more than the world to her. And they know it too. There are some exceptional teachers out there, but none compare to her. She's my "bestest" friend in my head. Lol.

Shan P Posted over a year ago

When my daughter first met her at school, she came home and said, “Ma, I know y’all are gonna become friends. I just know it.” Mind you, I didn’t even meet the person she was talking about until months later. Well, my baby was right. Passionate, caring, positive, encouraging, intelligent, unique, forward-thinking, creative, and beautiful are just a few adjectives that quickly come to mind about her. J, I’m so proud of you. You deserve this award and so much more. Love you always.

Ifa Holiday Posted over a year ago

Jessica brings joy to my life in a daily basis! I am so glad she was nominated because she DEFINITELY deserves the honor! I am positive that Jessica will continue to bless her historians wether she wins or not, but winning would allow her the opportunity to bless them even more! Jessica’s historians not only love her respect her as a teacher, they look up to her and view her as a Kind of “second mom”. Jessica is well deserving of the nomination. Thank you.

Kyrstalin Burtin Posted over a year ago

Ms. Richards is really one of the BEST teachers I have ever encountered, but she is the one and only BEST History teacher!!! I am a former historian of Ms. Richards and i wish every day to be back in her class to learn again about history. To this day she is the reason why i REALLY love history! She’s also really sweet. She listens to you and your opinions, find ways to make your day better and even your life better! GREAT LUCK Ms. Richards!!!

destiny porter Posted over a year ago

I was never blessed with the opportunity to have ms. richards as my teacher while at HC.. However, I saw the impact she left on all of my peers throughout my 4 years there. although I didn’t have her as a teacher, she always stood out to me.. she never failed to tell me goodmorning as i entered the doors of a classroom across the hall and she just has the most infectious smile. I could not think of a better teacher to win this award, solely based on how she treated my peers and the impact she had on them.

Brooke Billingsley Posted over a year ago

Simply the best ever, she made school enjoyable and always tried to make everyone feel special!!! She is awesome and soooo deserving!

Tanya bryant Posted over a year ago

This is my daughter's teacher and my daughter kylie Porter loves her. In all the years of kylie going to school I have never seen her so excited and willing to learn. Mrs Richard has given my child something I have never seen before she wants to go to school just so she can learn more from Mrs. Richards. When kylie comes home from school she cant wait to tell me what she learned from Mrs Richards. I love it and think she is a wonderful teacher and roll model for children today. Keep up the wonderful work you are doing Mrs. Richards!!! IF SHE SHOULD WIN THIS AWARD!!

Kaleb lizana Posted over a year ago

Ms.Richards was one of the best teachers I ever had. If anyone deserves an award like this, It would be her. All around beautiful person, and fantastic teacher. Hope she wins!

Shelva Border Posted over a year ago

Ms. Richards is not your average teacher, the love and passion she has for history and her students is remarkable. The summer before my junior year before taking US history, Ms. Richards gave me a chance to see history up close and personal. I went to 5 countries in 2 weeks and it was the best 2 weeks of my life. I went to England, France, Germany, Belgium and Austria for a WWII trip, seeing the museums, concentration camps and many more historical features change my life. It changes the way you look at life, the way you appreciate the little things and realize things could be way worse in life. When I went on this trip, I never really knew Ms. Richards, I met her a few times at meetings before the trip, but as soon as we were off I knew I was safe, I knew that she wouldn’t let a thing happen to me, she looked at me as if I was her child. No other teacher has ever put as much love and open arms to those kids that “can’t do it”, she knows you can and helps those kids that believed they couldn’t. Most teacher don’t give as much attention to those kids that aren’t trying in class, that won’t do their work. She opens her heart to them and pushes them to be their best, and they become their best only because 1 Mississippi teacher believed in them and loved them like her own. She deserves the world because she helped show kids they CAN make it in this world.

Patrice Moore Posted over a year ago

I first discovered Jessica on you tube. I had recently loss my mother and I was really sad and depressed. I had lost my best friend. I got on you tube and came across her channel. That particular video she was discussing things she went through in her past that I could relate to all to well. I continued to listen to her . She was so sincere, genuine and forth coming. While listening to her, I cried, I smiled and even found myself laughing hysterically. That was something I hadn't did since my mom passed. So Thank You Jessica !!!!!!! She really left a HUGE impact on me. You deserve to be be nominee of the year !!! Good luck

Dionne King Posted over a year ago

You are so deserving of this! From our trip to Spain you awakened in me the desire to go out explore and learn about our world again. When I was younger I had that passion but it faded over time. Thank you for that gift! Can't wait to go again with you. You have that drive to make Historians (young and old) explore instead of just read about our world. Wish you all the best.

Haley Reich Posted over a year ago

Hands down the best teacher I have ever had! I've never been a huge history fan and have never done really well in the subject. She teaches in a way that is captivating to anyone who ever gets the privilege to experience her lectures. She gave me a whole new perspective on history and now I can honestly say that she has given a me love for the subject!

Marissa C Posted over a year ago

Ms Richards is the best teacher?? She inspires everyone so much to be better and do better! Even though I never went on any trips with her, she makes you actually want to sit and listen about HISTORY ?? I never really liked history until I got to her class. Now I realized that History is very interesting and fun to actually learn about ?? She is such a great person on the inside and out ?? She holds a lot of people’s heart .

Felicia Sherelle Walker Posted over a year ago

Jessica has impacted my life and the lives of my daughters immensely. From watching her channel and listening to her speak not just about products, but about her family, her students, and life in general is not only refreshing but it has honestly become a part of our day. We live in a technological age where various forms of media are easily accessible globally by people of all ages- keeping this in mind, if someone has a platform they have the ability to create or destroy with thier words and actions. Jessica creates. She creates laughter, information, kindness and love. She really has an intense love for her students and her family and for her YouTube subscribers as well. She is in a word wonderful. It is my honor to share just a small bit of the emotion that she invokes in my family each and every time we have the privilege of watching and listening to her online. She really is a sweetheart and deserves every happiness this life can provide.

Shunda Sims Posted over a year ago

Ms.Richards has made me feel better about having a “Bald” head due to a my condition. She inspires me to feel better about me. She makes me laugh and educate me at the same time. She loves being a teacher and that’s a wonderful thing for our youth. Thanks to her, I order some bomb wigs for my bald head. (Lol) She’s an Amazing and Beautiful school teacher and YouTuber!

Ililani Fedestin Posted over a year ago

This woman radiates positivity! Jessica is a credit to her students and community, I whole heartedly hope that she receives recognition for all the amazing work she does.

Cindy Fayard Posted over a year ago

Ms. Richard's taught my two eldest daughters and is currently teaching my youngest daughter. She has and is leaving a life long impact on all the young adults she comes in contact with as well as their parents and family. Much love and appreciation for this young woman and the impact she is making on these kids. She is inspiring to all that come in contact with her!

Brandi V. Posted over a year ago

I’ve known several students who have had Ms. Richards, including my niece, and she is a blessing to each of them. I wish that all children could experience a teacher like Ms. Richards and I hope my own child can be her student in the future!

Santana Rodgers Posted over a year ago

Congratulations!! This is so awesome and I am proud of you! Please keep being a light and hope to so many students! You are a true blessing to them and we need more educators like you! ??

Akea Williams Posted over a year ago

I love Ms.Richards!! I came to her classroom just to tell her "Goodmorning Beautiful" She is such an inspirational person in the classroom and out the classroom. She deserves it !! #HerSupportTeam

Hattie Hartwell Posted over a year ago

Yes she is a life changer. She came to my church the past two years and gave us facts about Black History during the month if February. She made me want to go and be a part if her class at the age of 63. Knows her history and is very passionate about the students she teach to know and love learning about history.

Shanna Cramer Posted over a year ago

I love this woman’s enthusiasm to introduce our kids to the world. Her love for our kids shows through.

Mildred M. Posted over a year ago

I have had to pleasure to see Ms. Richards give her utmost care, love and respect to her historians. I have read remarks from former students & current students and to see the love and joy that they share just learning from her is remarkable. She’s so deserving.

Kalisha Posted over a year ago

She wasn’t my teacher but the impact that she has on these kids lives is don’t find to many teachers that go hard the way she does for her kids, the love, the passion, the drive that she instill in them ??hands down she is the BEST!!

Cabrina Oliver Posted over a year ago

The most amazing teacher even to those she dont have the pleasure of teaching in the classroom and is just around campus. She is bright and cheery and she is always there for her students. An amazing person inside and out!

Sabrina Bannick Posted over a year ago

I have seen her growth over the past year. She is humble and always places God first in this world we need people like her. I lost a child during my ectopic pregnancy her videos provided relief. She is transparent and real. She talks about her kids endlessly and when she talks of history you can see her genuine joy. This is what you want in your classroom someone who is genuine and in love with the topic they teach. As a fellow teacher and historian this passion is crucial as it makes it easier to encourage your students to love the topic and make your lessons fun. I have heard of her struggles and her growth is very evident. I would stand by her being selected due to her humble nature,kind spirit and genuine personality. She is the very definition of not judging a book by its cover,she may not fit your cookie cutter mold of what a teacher may look like BUT that makes it even better. It shows students that do not let anything deter you from your passion and dont let the physical define you. She is beautiful inside and out.

Amber C Posted over a year ago

Ms. Richards taught my son last year for his junior year. My son has never cared for history much but that was quickly changed by Ms. Richards! He would come home telling me things he learned. If I didn't get as excited as he was about it I was in trouble! She instilled a love for learning in him that no other history teacher had been able to do. She made learning fun. She truly is amazing and is very deserving of this award. Thank you Ms Richards!!!

Ashlynn Principe Posted over a year ago

I wrote an essay about the sheer impact Ms. Richards has had on my life 4 years ago when I was in my first year of undergraduate studies for a Teacher of the Year nomination (which she won). Back then, I was swamped in writing assignments for class, but taking the time to write out how she has helped me was a no-brainer and something I hoped could give back and show even a fraction of the love and gratitude she has shown me. Watching her continued success in the classroom and in her newer endeavors on Youtube in the years since then have been an inspiration, a joy, and a reinforcement of the lead-by-example style that has garnered her the support of so many. I re-read it, and I stand by every word I wrote. This is that essay: "Since the day I met her, Ms. Jessica Richards has played a number of significant roles in my life acting not only as an exceptional teacher, but also as a mentor, role model, and dear friend. She is a leader by example – widely admired by students, faculty, and friends not only for her style (as she has previously been crowned most fashionable in faculty superlatives, thank you very much) and obvious intelligence, but also for her humor and wit. Ms. Richards is the teacher you wish you had. I had the pure luck of being assigned to her U. S. History class in the fall semester of my junior year at Harrison Central High. Taking U.S. History can be intimidating with the state test looming in the back of students’ minds for the entire semester, but Ms. Richards’s class, though designed to prepare us for the test, was not oriented so that we would merely be regurgitating information to pass as so many courses feel nowadays. We learned in her class. Her strategy was to teach us to think of the events within a historical context. Sure we may have heard someone mention something about a Transcontinental Railroad before in passing, but what was it? What impact did it have on immigration in the United States? What else was going on at this time? Why was this so revolutionary to life in America? With every new unit, we were challenged to empathize with past Americans and put ourselves in their shoes to understand. To reinforce that connection with the past, she assigned us projects such as writing in the perspective of a teenager riding the rails during the Great Depression, creating an entire magazine from the 1920s, writing a news report on mudslinging campaigns in 19th and 20th century politics, creating propaganda posters for the World War efforts, etc. By engaging in the past, we were building our own personal connections to the lessons. It went far beyond a pen-and-paper, textbook education. Her teaching style deserves its own praise separate from the class’s structure. Ms. Richards is among the elite rank of teachers who makes their students genuinely interested in the material and excited to learn. Before taking her class, I did not like U. S. History. I have always been a bit of a history buff, but I was markedly partial to ancient world history. Prior to actually taking the course my junior year, I was expecting to suffer through a class listening to a slightly more detailed version of the same, humdrum history of the past 500 or so years that the United States has been relevant to the Western World that I had been hearing since kindergarten. However, as melodramatic as it may sound, walking in to room 118 for the first time changed that preconception of what the class would be like. The walls of the classroom are chock-full of color and information. Every inch is covered with past students’ projects, propaganda posters, and maps on proud display. This alone told me how much she cared about the kids she taught. Being in the class did nothing short of confirming these beliefs. Ms. Richards made every lesson easy to understand. She was always quick to crack a joke and very personable. I noticed how she often went out of her way to make things relatable for us. For instance, she decided early on to opt out of using the pre-created PowerPoints provided by the textbook company and instead created her own presentations complete with details, pictures, quotes, and video links providing information that we never would have gotten otherwise. She fostered an air of friendly, but fierce, competition among her students with quick trivia and personalized jeopardy games. She even went so far as to help found and sponsor the school’s Junior Historical Society – a club that ultimately led me on the life changing World War II tour across Germany, Poland, and the Czech Republic with her and a small group of other club members, as well as other smaller field trips to local museums. Ms. Richards’s U.S. History class was a deeply immersive course, and I left knowing so much more about U.S. history, world history, and modern politics. Even after I had personally finished with U.S. History, I found myself coming back to visit her class as often as I could through the next semester, the following school year, my first year in college, and even now. Ms. Richards’s passion for her work is not only inspiring, but it is contagious. Her enthusiasm inevitably spreads to every group of students she comes in contact with. Her effect can be seen in her students’ consistently high state test scores every year as well as the sheer number of former students, including alumni, who often make it their business to visit and sit in on her lectures. They’re just that good. It’s an experience. Ms. Richards has absolutely changed my life. She completely altered my view on U.S. History and helped me better appreciate the teaching profession. She cultivated an understanding of the modern world in me that I never had before. I have her to thank for the opportunity to travel to Europe and consequently exposing me to new career options I had not previously considered. Ms. Richards is a big part of the reason I found, and then proceeded to get accepted into, my dream degree program at the University of Mississippi. She has been a consistent support throughout my academic career and a reliable source for advice. I look up to her as an inspiration not only for the great teacher she has always been to me even in the years following my formal assignment to her class, but also as the extraordinary friend and mentor she has become for me. Ms. Richards has undoubtedly made a huge impact on my life, and I know for a fact that the majority of her students agree with me in considering her to be one of the, if not the, best teacher they have ever had."

Sophie M. Posted over a year ago

Jessica is a natural teacher who has obviously done the work to prepare for her students and topic. She projects an authentic, credible persona while remaining humble and open. She’s funny and smart. (I learned about her several months ago from a friend who is her coworker.) She inspires people to be their best. Maybe it’s her historians or maybe it’s those of us bald-headed beauties who needed some information demystified for us...not sure. But no doubt she’s a life changer in a way that few are. Her gift radiates from within and extends far beyond the classroom.

Erika R Posted over a year ago

Ms. Richard has changed my life by inspiring me to be my best self, to change the things I can and to embrace all that I am. She motivates me to strive for more and not to be satisfied with mediocre living. I have potential to live you to and dreams to manifest! Ms. Richards has given me the courage to do it.

Shanali H. Posted over a year ago

Ms.Richards is the most inspiring and one of the greatest teachers i’ve had. She cares for one as her own and the best person to go to in time of need and gives the best advice, She has opened my eyes to the world and broaden my view of the real world! We love you . - 3rd block ??

Jena Lee Posted over a year ago

Jessica has impacted my life to be confident in everything you do, to handle people in a swift manner, and to love your inner self and let it shine.

Akeyla Cooley Posted over a year ago

I’m honestly not surprised about this nomination. This woman has changed my life and continues to change my life and she doesn’t even know it. She has always been an honest and virtuous woman. She’s always encouraging everyone to do what they want no matter what anyone has to say. She promotes life on a budget and rocks it so well. She makes the little people feel like the giants in the world. I absolutely love this woman and support her in everything she does because I know she is amazing and will always give back the knowledge she’s received.

Roxanne S. Posted over a year ago

I had Ms. Richards only last semester. I've always loved history but never had a teacher who showed passion for teaching the subject like she did. In her class, we became her children, if we had troubles, we knew we could go to her, and even though I and my classmates no longer have her as a teacher, I know that we can always go to her in need.

Othell Adkins Posted over a year ago

Most impactful history teacher ever. Teacher, Mentor, Mother of Many, Friend, Tour Guide, Fashion Diva, Humanitarian, just to name a few.

Shellie Switzer Posted over a year ago

Ms. Richards epitomizes what a teacher should be!! She truly cares for students- even those who are not in her class. Each year Ms. Richards organizes an educational trip, usually abroad, for students at HC. Many students would not otherwise be able to travel to these destinations. My daughter was fortunate enough to travel to Spain with Ms. Richards last summer even though she was not able to take Ms. Richards’ class due to a scheduling conflict. My son is a freshman at HC and at open house Ms. Richards made sure to let him know where her classroom is and that her door is always open. I cannot say enough good things about this amazing person!! She truly deserves this honor. She is a Life Changer!!

Angie Brown parker Posted over a year ago

Jessica is amazing teacher. She has a love for not only teaching history but a genuine love for her students. Jessica is shaping our future leaders. She prides herself in teaching and giving her all to her students.

Karynne Day Posted over a year ago

Jessica your videos are a light on You tube. I've spent many hard nights when I was down and and when I watch you you always make me feel like for at least 10 minutes everything was okey. You spread happiness and that's what makes you a life changer LOVE YOU HOPE YOU WIN THE AWARD

Nakesha Player Posted over a year ago

In the year 2020, teachers are still underappreciated. They spend countless hours molding our kids and leaving a lasting impression on them. I don't know,Mrs. Richards personally but from her social media accounts it's crystal clear she loves being a teacher. It's more than an occupation to her and it radiates like the brightest star. I truly believe her impact on her students will change the world so she deserves The LifeChanger of the Year Award. As a military veteran and mom of a 12 year old, I can tell you firsthand that kids don't forget their favorite teacher. Everyone that chooses education as profession don't see it that way which is why there's a constant shortage. Many blessings to all the educators who love their job and from the bottom of my heart God bless all the nominees.

Cara Posted over a year ago

I am a British citizen who has been following you for a while. I am excited when I receive your notifications because you are such an inspiring and positive person. Also, you are so versatile with your subjects from travelling blogs to beauty advices. Stay true to

Diane Green Posted over a year ago

Jessica came into my life, as social media influencer, when I was in a really low place. You see my sister had passed away 9 months prior and everyday had been a complete struggle since her untimely loss. I would watch Jessica's video and she was able to make me laugh, when I didn't think I would ever be able to laugh again. I looked forward to her videos because she wasn't afraid to be her natural self, flaws and all and she was able to help me believe everything was going to be okay! Jessica has helped me more than she will ever know! She is a creative, beautiful soul and an amazing human being. She most definitely is an extraordinary LifeChanger!

Kathryn Posted over a year ago

Jessica is such a positive force in the lives of her students and everyone around her. She is absolutely a LifeChanger!

Tamasha Perryman Posted over a year ago

Wow where do I start. Jessica Richards is just amazing. Her Spirit is so uplifting and where ever she goes she definitely changes everything for the better. I have never came in contact with anyone who shines as bright as Jessica Richards. She is definitely a Life Changer. Meet her and you will definitely feel her life changing presence.

Sophia Posted over a year ago

Ms.Richard is the representation of a strong woman who loves what she does. She not only made me love history but she made me love her. She teacher who is a mother figure to students all races, sizes and ages. She represents love and compassion and I couldn’t have been more honored to meet and to be taught by a person that is more wonderful than her.

Valencia Essel Posted over a year ago

As a fellow teacher a world away, Jessica's positivity, candid nature, and beaming personality always make for a light and upbeat moment even on the heaviest of days. I admire her love and passion for her students as well as her drive to see each of her Historians enjoying history and getting outside of the world they may know by enhancing their lives and experiences through engaging lessons and even worldwide travel. She has taken what was one of the darkest moments of her own life and turned that into a platform to spread joy, entertainment, and informative content for the world to enjoy. This woman is truly a blessing and though she doesn't do it for the accolades, recognition for her life-changing ways would certainly be fitting tribute to her and a blessing to those whose lives she continues to impact daily.

Victoria Robertson Posted over a year ago

Ms. Richards is loved by every single student, parent, and staff member who passes through Harrison Central High School. I graduated in 2014, Ms. Richards wasn’t even my teacher, but she still made me feel like one of her children. If any of the students in the school need anything, they know they can always come to her classroom. She always says that all of her students will always have a home in her classroom. She is one of the most intellectual, kind, caring, and best teachers that I believe Harrison Central High School has ever seen. She is definitely a life changer!

J.T Posted over a year ago

Ms. Jessica Richards I am so proud of you for being considered as a nominee. You always encourage your kids and others. I do not know you personally. I have learned for myself, how to help kids learn by means of the way you work with your students. I am not a teacher, however, I come in contact with many youths and you have helped me to find different ways to reach our youth of today and to have a means and a purpose for communicating with them. If you know what you are talking about you can go far. I have watched you teach your kids and have fun while teaching them even on traveling trips. I can see that you genuinely care and your students see that as well and that's how you reach them, because it comes from your heart which makes you a natural winner. Congrats

Angelia Adkins Posted over a year ago

Words cannot adequately describe the impact that Ms. Richards had in our daughter’s love for History. She is very passionate about History and her Historians. She is truly a positive influence to the students at HCHS. She is very deserving of the nomination of Life Changer. Because she truly takes her students mind about History to a high level of understanding. As well as introduce them to worldwide travel.

J Posted over a year ago

Truly a life changing person. Infused energy, fun, and knowledge into everything she does. Such a joy to interact with.

Tiffany moore Posted over a year ago

I started watching Jessica on YouTube about a year ago when u are having a bad day just go to Jess page she is uplifting beautiful Sprint and most of all she loves her students

Kera Bryant Posted over a year ago

When I want to laugh and just feel good all i have to do is watch one of her vlogs and instantly start to feel better.

Jackie Floyd Posted over a year ago

Ms. Richards is one of the most positive people that I know. She genuinely cares for people and always has a kind and/or uplifting word to impart. Her spirit and joy are infectious.

stefanie damron Posted over a year ago

I feel Jessica is deserving of this award for the strength she shows in every video she uploads! She is a perfect example of rising above strife life can deal at times and shining and sharing her love and power for oneself to all that is in her circle!!!

Dewana Johnson Posted over a year ago

I meet Jessica on YouTube last year. It's like she is talking to me one on one at times. Jessica has a loving and caring spirit. The wisdom and knowledge that she spread is not only on YouTube I know it's with her students also. She love her students. Taking them around the world and out of their element is amazing. So Jessica gets my vote!!!

Tahisia Fulton Posted over a year ago

Watching her teach makes me wish I had more teachers like her when I attended school. Attentive, funny, engaging, energetic are just some of the words that you can use to describe her. You can literally see the eagerness in the kids/ young adults eyes. She is just an amazing teacher and all around good and humble person.

Danette and Karl Friedrich Posted over a year ago

Jessica goes above and beyond for our students at Harrison Central. Most of our students would not have the opportunities she gives them to see and travel the world! She is a awesome coworker as well as teacher?? Blessed to have her at HCHS and as a great friend??

Terri Darnell Posted over a year ago

Jessica Richards goes above and beyond and thinks of creative ways to improve her students lives in her spare time.This type of dedication is rare in these times.She is appreciated and should be awarded for her devotion to her students.

Monique Murphy Posted over a year ago

Jessica is very passionate about her job as a teacher and she expresses her passion for her students on every platform that allows her too. She is a very driven caring person who followed her passion to positively impact students. She works after hours and during holiday breaks to ensure her students are knowledgeable and become experts at knowing history.

Angie Beattie Posted over a year ago

Ms Richards is very deserving of this award. She’s an excellent role model, and always puts her Historians first. The love that she shows for her Historians and history is unmatchable. I had the opportunity to travel to Spain with her and a group of her Historians this past June. She definitely made a once in a lifetime trip amazing.

Jenni Vliet Posted over a year ago

She never hesitates to be sweet, friendly, and helpful to others ! She is polite to everyone and has a wonderful sense of humor! She surely deserves this!

Hope Strickland Posted over a year ago

Absolutely the best teacher and person I know. It was an honor to have my son in her class. She not only helps her students achieve their goals, she cheers for them along the way.

Stacie Rayborn Posted over a year ago

Jessica went to school with my daughter and I love seeing her social media posts because she keeps it real for everyone but is also very positive, loves her job, has a passion for teaching her historians and I love seeing her travels with her students!! She very possibly is the only positive influence in some children’s lives and that is her biggest contribution!!

Abigail Ulmer Posted over a year ago

Ms. Richards was by far my favorite teacher from my high school career. She made me love history and travel. Because of her and hearing about all the places she’s traveled, I took my first trip to a different state in 2018! Something I never would have done had she not made travel sound so life changing. Ms. Richards made History fun and unique. There isn’t another teacher like her! She’s one of a kind!

Tera Maharrey Posted over a year ago

Lovely person inside and out.

Cynthia Kat Posted over a year ago

I met Jessica, via Facebook, about 2-3 years ago, & she has impacted my life ever since. I found her through a motivational video that she posted that just so happened to run across my feed. I was soooo down that day and after listening to her, my entire day brightened. 3 years later, she still gives me my morning laugh and smile!!

Cameron Beattie Posted over a year ago

Not only is Ms. Richards active in the classroom, she is also active in showing groups of students other parts of the world. I am honored to be one of her former historians, who went on an extravagant trip to Spain with her! She is very deserving of this award, she puts her historians first!

Charlene Covington Posted over a year ago

I know Jessica via YouTube and I don't even remember how or when I found her. I am a 49 year old woman who had the most difficult year ever in 2018 (major illnesses with my daughter & my husband; by the grace of God they are both alive & doing well). I spent so much time taking care of them that I totally let my self go to the extent that I shaved my head in 2019; Yep completly bald & to be honest every time Jessica says "let me put this wig on my little bald head" I smile (as if she is talking to me). I know it's hard to follow where I am going but this lady Jessica (not even sure of her last name), History teacher to High Schoolers in Lousiana, is an inspiration to an older Southern woman in NC (that she will probably never meet) by simply putting on a wig & chatting about it for less than 15 mins. She is brave & daring& beautiful & funny but mostly honest! She has impacted me by giving me courage to know that I can choose to keep going & be fierce. Thank You Jessica for getting in front of that camera & using what you love to make a difference for little 'ole me!

Kathy Miller Posted over a year ago

Inspiration indeed. Anytime I am having a tough day, her smile and larger than life personality puts a smile on my face. She definitely deserves this recognition.

Michelle Enroth Posted over a year ago

Ms Richards is truly amazing. She instilled in my son a love for not only history but learning, world travel, and thinking of a future beyond high school. She makes everyone feel special by emphasizing their unique talents and qualities. My son is a better student and person for having her as a teacher.

Niecy Posted over a year ago

Cant say enough about this lady. She is such an encouragering, nurturing person. This award is so befitting for her. She have influenced soo many to become a better version of themselves and to go for their dreams. I dont know a better person to give this award to. Love this lady to life.

Sharonda Posted over a year ago

She's a very sweet, inspirational, phenomenal woman with a beautiful spirit!

Ardell Johnson Posted over a year ago

I love Jessica know to me as wigsandwanderlust on your YouTube channel and she is one of 5 youtubers that encouraged me to make a channel and I stepped out on faith not knowing all the ends and outside of making a video but watching her for months almost everyday I said yo myself just do it and learn as you go and I want yo thank her for treating her subscribers like family and not people just watching I know for a fact that she's Channing lives outside of the class room as well as in so there's no one more deserving of this award than Jessica Richards.

Alexa Posted over a year ago

This woman is absolutely AMAZING. Her words of wisdom, her intelligence and her beauty is what inspires me to continue to be the best version of myself! And that best version of myself is exactly what is , MYSELF! This woman has inspired to me not only be myself but to LOVE myself ?? She has also taught me that GIVING UP is never an option!!! She has motivated me to continue to believe that i will reach my goals!!! I’m very grateful that i discovered her!! She’s truly a fairy godmother to me ??

Jasmine Towner Posted over a year ago

As a former student of yours. Your class was the only one that felt like home. You didn’t make us feel unwanted or dumb. You respected each and every one of us as a individual. Your teaching technique was not only fun but educational. I am proud to say I was blessed to have met you and been in your class.

Diane B Simmons Posted over a year ago

Jessica has impacted my life in so many ways. She has a great sense of humor, so much needed in today's world. She has a great work ethic, and tireless energy. Iam so glad I have the pleasure to follow her. I tell everybody about her.

Jess Deihl Posted over a year ago

Jessica is a bright light in this world. She is always a positive and uplifting spirit and always makes people feel accepted for who they are. Before your first conversation with her is over you feel like you've known her forever. She loves each of her historians as if they were her own, and is always mindful of setting a good example for them. I can't think of a single person more deserving of this award.

Maryah harper Posted over a year ago

She made me fall in love with my history class the way she teaches and breaks things down they have no choice but to rub off on you and not only that she treats you as a young adult and respects your wishes I love this woman with my whole heart and I wish her class was longer but there is a lot of new knowledge I’m taking on with me from this year ??

Diann Richards Posted over a year ago

Much success!!! You're the best, Love you.

Diann Richards Posted over a year ago

Ms Richards is a wonderful young lady who truly cares about her students and her community.

Jordan Walker Posted over a year ago

Jessica is an amazing soul. She has been a beacon of light during my dark times. I always feel encouraged by her words of wisdom and humour.

Jerica Shannon Posted over a year ago

Ms. Richards was never my teacher but I’ve been around her energy and I see how she works with students and people in general. She’s a lovable person, it’s hard not to like/love her. She has this vibe that draws you in! And she’s undeniably beautiful! And she’s 100% herself! I love me some Ms. Richards

Edwanda Walton Posted over a year ago

One the most dedicated and knowledgeable teachers I know! Cares for every one of her students, past and present, as if her own.

V.Marie Williams Posted over a year ago

I have alopecia totalis. Just seeing Jessica gives me confidence when I rock my bald head or wear wigs. From watching her I’ve learned my beauty is not contingent upon how much hair I have, but my character and joy. She’s an encourager and brings so much positivity when you see her.

Robert Posted over a year ago

Jessica is an amazing teacher but a better person!

Madison Nielson Posted over a year ago

Her love for her students is second to none, Ms. Richards would give the shirt off her back to help anyone that enters her room. She made her classroom exciting, and taught a subject most students did not expect to enjoy coming in, yet she creates a love for history in each student! There isn’t an award more fitting, and I think all former and current students would agree.

Love Yourself Posted over a year ago

Jessica has such a big caring heart for her students and for people all together. She motivates and gives back to help others. She deserves the Award and much more.

Whitney Daniels Posted over a year ago

Former student here. Ms. Richards is the sweetest person on earth. She is the school mom, even for the kids she is not teaching. She makes her classroom a fun and safe space. No one ever feels left out in her classroom. She makes history very interesting and can change a person’s perception of history within minutes. Ms. Richards is everyone’s dream teacher: funny, nice, caring, and a motivator. She is not only a teacher but an inspiration to current and former students.