Meet Jessica Delves, a graphic design student from UFV.

Q: When did you move to Abbotsford and why did you decide to go to the University of the Fraser Valley (UFV)?

I moved from Indonesia when I was 12 years old and started high school here. I chose UFV because it was a safe choice. Student life is hard-- it’s about living pay-cheque to pay-cheque. Living with my parents made it easier.

Q: What do you enjoy most about attending UFV?

Studying at UFV is very, very cool. I have met so many people and made great new connections. I am from a big city and thought that I would miss it, but I don’t. I thought about moving to a city like Vancouver and going to UBC, but people are more willing to help one another here and opportunity is more accessible. Big cities are more ‘me, me’, me’ but, here, it is different. We work together to create a great element. 
I was also able to study overseas and then return. I loved it so much that I became a student mentor for people who came here to study abroad.

Q: We have heard that you are involved with different projects and are quite creative. Tell me about this.

I was hired at Spruce Collective to work retail, actually. They didn’t know about my artistic abilities and, since I am so shy, I didn’t say anything. When I became more comfortable, I showed them a few things and then, all of a sudden, I was introduced to other local businesses. I thought that these people are so successful, so I felt so intimidated, but they told me that they are just regular people that are trying to make it, too. They were excited to know me, to hear about my ideas, and encouraged me to show them more. I came out of my comfort zone and opened up my gate.

I always thought that I had to choose between family and career. My parents believe in ‘step by step’—go to school, get a job, get married … but I am still exploring and I believe that there are different ways to achieve a goal. If you didn’t achieve your goal, you didn’t fail. It just means that you were meant to learn something and grow stronger. I focus on the positive in everything and want to tell kids that it’s Ok to feel lost.

I also have a design business and am starting a magazine that showcases the Fraser Valley lifestyle. I want to expose how people handle family and career and share the artisan scene. I just love people- watching and think, “What is their story?”

People are so different. They are unique and I like that.  We all just need to embrace our weirdness.


Q. What do you like about living in Abby?

Groups of people come together to co-create. Living here is an eye-opener in terms of what community is like. My work friends are like family and, if I don’t see them for a week, I miss them. We play baseball together at Babich Park, walk around Fishtrap Creek, hike on Sumas Mountain, and go to Mill Lake. The nature is so nice and people have backyards. It’s so green. Trees make me happy, and it’s much better than staring at big towers. All of us just want to be the change of something great.

Watch Josh VanderheidePeg PetersPatrick OystrykTanya Curtis and Jess Massey's #FreshFacesofAbby stories.