Yay Jessica! I heart Jessica Yee!
Jessica Yee is a young woman on a mission. And at 23, she is wowing social justice activists twice her age with her passion and persistence.
The eldest daughter of a Mohawk mother and a Chinese father, Yee was volunteering for a local women's shelter when she was 12.
At 15, she was spearheading a letter-writing campaign in support of a gay student who was barred from bringing his boyfriend to the prom.
When she was 19, she was in South Dakota fighting against the recriminalization of abortion and meeting with the powerful Native American Women's Health Education Resource Center.
By age 20, Yee pulled those experiences together to form the Native Youth Sexual Health Network, the first agency of its kind run by and for youth that isn't focused solely on disease prevention.
Yee says her activism is rooted in her parents' history as sex trade workers. Although they were also caught up in substance abuse and minor brushes with the law, they raised Yee and her younger sister, Jennifer, in a safe, loving environment, teaching them to be open-minded, pro-choice and socially responsible.