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Voices of Pride: Meet Jessica Chappell

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Voices of Pride: Meet Jessica Chappell

This month, we are amplifying the voices of the LGBTQIA+ community and allies, talking about their career journey and what pride month means to them. I

’m Jessica or jessicuzwhynot (just because, why not!), a uniquely inspired problem solver, with a gift for finding my niche or place in just about any environment.  I’m currently the DevOps Engineer at Epistemix, Inc.  In this role, I’ve gotten down and dirty with everything from designing an API, architecting and implementing an OIDC auth flow, writing CLI’s that interact with serverless backends via an API Gateway, to all things Kubernetes. 

Prior to this role, I worked at Cisco as a support/infrastructure engineer on a Rancher based container orchestration platform for internal engineers.  It’s been an incredible journey to where I am today from where I was 3 years ago, managing in the local restaurant industry.  Throughout my life, my biggest motivators have always been seeking new knowledge and tinkering with things to see what happens.  I wish I could say that I had some awesome or unique passions, but the biggest things I’m passionate about are just having fun, pushing boundaries, saying hello to strangers, and seeing what happens next!

Pride, like most things, is a contextually diverse entity, with its own unique meaning to everyone.  When I think of pride, I associate it with accepting myself as who I am at this moment without the need for outside validation.  Pride is confidence in yourself, your values, your identity.  It’s appreciating yourself, enabling yourself, displaying your confidence and differences to the world while knowing that much of the world is going to reject you.  It’s taking joy in that rejection and finding peace within yourself and those that do accept you, but it starts with accepting who and where you are today.  Myself, being a queer and neurodiversehuman, I find there’s no greater power than taking pride in my differences and showing the world that no matter who I am, how I think, how I act, who I love, what I look like, or what I sound like, that I am here to stay.  We are the future, we are valid and we don’t need anyone else to tell us that.