In many ways, Woodbridge, Virginia, is a lot like Austin. It’s fast-paced, full of diversity, and also has a Hill Country graduate making her mark on the city. 

Since receiving her Hill Country diploma in 2013, Jessica Mocha ‘13 is making her way in the DC suburb as a technical writer. After her years at James Madison University, where she majored in English, Jessica worked in both the healthcare and international trade industries before she found what she calls, “my place,” at CharityEngine. “CharityEngine is a software company that specializes in providing non-profits the equipment they need to continue their great work, such as Wounded Warriors,” says Jessica. 

Among the many memories Jessica has from her time at Hill Country (including some hilarious annual trips to the high school retreat with friends), she has fond memories of class with Candy Hechel. “Mrs. Hechel’s class prepared me for college by having Socratic discussions. [They] gave me the courage to speak about topics that I had read about in-depth. Almost all of my classes in college required this skill.”

Jessica loves life on the east coast but wants everyone to know that the Tex-Mex cuisine just isn’t the same there as it is back in Austin.

Spring of 2022 Update:
Jessica got engaged to Brandan Piel in Hawaii on March 2, 2020, just before the pandemic. Two years to the day later they returned to Hawaii to tie the knot on, March 2, 2022, in an intimate wedding with family and close friends, including two alumni in the bridal party – Sara Jackson ’13 and Chloe (Policke) Barnett ’13.