Juarez Named Distinguished Alumna of the Year
Lee University named Jessica Beran Juarez the 2023 Distinguished Alumna of the Year during the school’s recent Homecoming festivities. This award is the highest honor given by the university to alumni and is given to a graduate who demonstrates excellence in his or her career, while also embracing the values that Lee embodies.
“Jessica Juarez’s commitment to her community as a servant leader is inspiring to the entire Lee family and an example of our core value of responsible citizenship,” said Dr. Brad Moffett, vice president for University Relations. “She is a great choice to receive Lee’s highest alumni recognition.”
Juarez graduated from Lee University in 1994 and received the award for Most Outstanding Communication student. Her first job after Lee was working for an NBC affiliate as a reporter and editor in Virginia. After the birth of her first child and moving to Texas, she was a stay-at-home mother for over 15 years, during which time she became acquainted with Court-Appointed Special Advocates for children (CASA). While working with CASA, she continued to be active in her church and helped numerous nonprofits that serve abused and neglected children in her community.
In 2015, she graduated from Texas A&M University School of Law, receiving the Equal Justice Award for 500 hours of pro-bono service. She went on to work for her local district attorney’s office, prosecuting Child Protective Services cases to further serve abused and neglected children. Subsequently, she has held positions with Dallas CASA and the Texas attorney general’s office, serving children in that capacity, as well.
In 2022, she was elected to Keller City Council where she works to help her local community in her councilwoman capacity. Entering the political world has further impacted her ability to have influence with state representatives and senators working on issues surrounding children in the state child welfare system.
Her involvement in CASA led her and her husband to become foster parents, which resulted in adopting five children from foster care. She and her husband now have a family of eight biological and adopted children.