A few years ago, I wrote a Mobile Press Register article about a beautiful, intelligent, musically gifted singer/songwriter from Satsuma. Jessica Strenth, a 13-year-old straight-A 7th grader at North Mobile Christian School, met me at Panera Bread, long straight hair flowing and acoustic guitar in hand.
We made our way to an empty back room where Jessica sang and played a couple of Sugarland songs, then Johnny Cash's "Ring of Fire." When she finished, an audience that had gathered at the door, gave her an enthusiastic round of applause.
At the time, Jessica had won several talent shows and had been a regular at the Gulf Coast Opry in Satsuma for 6 months. Her goal then was to go to college, major in English and pursue a career in country music.
Jessica is 18 now, a 2015 graduate of Saraland High School, where she placed 2nd in her class of 202. She has maintained that A average, carrying a GPA of 4.9/5.0 and scoring a 29 on the ACT in 2013.
She's also kept up an active estracurricular life; she was a member of the National Honor Society, the Leo Club and Future Business Leaders of America. She was manager of the varsity girls' basketball team at Saraland High School for the 2012-2013 season and was selected and participated in the 2014-2015 Mobile Azalea Trail Court.
Over the past 5 years, Jessica has continued to garner awards in singing and songwriting. Her successes are too numerous to mention them all here, but below are just a few of her local, regional and national activities.
She competed to sing the National Anthem at the Senior Bowl in 2011 and place in the top 8 out of 79 contestants; in 2012 and 2014, she was runner up. She won the BayFest Scholarship 3 out of 4 years while in high school.
A huge June Carter and Johnny Cash fan--the movie "Walk the Line" is what motivated her to try singing instead of just writing songs and poems--she performed in Nashville at "A Fashion Affair: A Tribute to Johnny and June Cash" in 2011. She also performed at the Chet Atkins Appreciation Week in Nashville in July 2011.
Currently, Jessica is a full time cast member on the Sucarnochee Revue syndicated radio and TV show for PBS in Meridian, Mississippi. The show began airing on Alabama Public TV in 2011 and now airs in 50 countries on the radio. She's won songwriting contests and has finished her second demo CD, which includes all original songs and music.
In the past year, Jessica has changed from the country music genre to Christian music, and has been supported in all the venues where she has previously performed. She attends Calvary Temple Assembly of God Church in Saraland, where she is a member of the CTAG Youth and the Praise Choir.
Her college plans have changed a bit. She plans to attend the University of Mobile to pursue a degree in Worship Leadership in the Center for Performing Arts. Her major will be Church Worship and Music Business with a minor in psychology. After earning her Bachelors degree, she hopes to apply for the Masters program in Marriage and Family Counseling at the University of Mobile.
Jessica is the daughter of Kendra and John Strenth III; she has one brother, John Strenth IV, 23. She can be found on Reverbnation, Facebook and www.jessicastrenth.com.