Rooted in San José
Jessica García-Kohl, Sam’s wife, has deep roots in San José. She can see her childhood home from where she currently resides with her husband, Sam, in the Northside neighborhood. While Jessica has accomplished much as a non-profit executive, she is most proud of giving back to a community that has allowed four generations of her family to thrive here.
Jessica’s grandfather spent much of his childhood working in San José’s orchards. While he had only an 8th-grade education himself, he and his wife stressed the importance of education for their children to make the most of the opportunities this city afforded them. Jessica’s mother obtained her Master’s degree in social work from San José State while working at then Eastfield Ming Quong (now EMQ) and Hospice of the Valley, before opening her own practice. Jessica’s father opened his first photography studio across from Sacred Heart Church in the Washington-Guadalupe neighborhood, and served as the family photographer for hundreds of San Joséans, including the San José Earthquakes soccer team.
Committed to Community
A lifetime advocate for women and children, Jessica’s work – both in the non-profit and public sectors – has focused on giving back to the local community. After attending college on the east coast she returned home to manage a shelter for abused women and their children. Upon completion of a joint Master’s program at U.C. Berkeley in Public Health and Public Policy, Jessica returned to San José. Since her graduation, Jessica has since worked to create affordable housing and educational opportunities for hundreds of low-income San José families, and has worked in San José City Hall.
Jessica serves on the Board of Directors for United Way Silicon Valley. She has previously served and volunteered for organizations such as the YWCA Silicon Valley, Cristo Rey San José, Teatro Visión and the Yes! We Can Read program in East San José.