In Honor of Women’s History Month, we are highlighting incredible women at Partners in Care Foundation who are making strides to positively change the world. Jessika Lopez, a Program Supervisor for Partner’s Enhanced Care Management (ECM) Department, has made a name for herself as a community leader not just in the San Fernando Valley, but also overseas! During her 4-month stay in Thailand, she volunteered for a HIV/AIDS Hospice and at a Drug Treatment and Rehabilitation center to help addicts through herbal detoxification. She continued humanitarian efforts for over a decade after.
One of her greatest passions involves Muay Thai and Boxing, which she discovered during a backpacking trip in Thailand. She returned to the country in 2010 to train in Muay Thai and was privileged to be the first woman to reside, train, and fight for one of the oldest Muay Thai camps in the world. She faced a lot of mental and physical abuse during this time and pushed her mind and body beyond its limits to prove herself as an equal to her male counterparts. It took her winning several fights across a decade in Thailand for her to gain respect from fellow fighters.
Despite the language barrier and cultural differences, Jessika was instrumental in opening the doors to future generations of women who wanted to be part of Muay Thai and used the sport to further advocate for women’s rights in Thailand. She broke gender barriers as she became an international female fight promoter for fighters from China, Thailand, and Japan, and became a female Muay Thai coach, which was unheard of at the time as it was taboo for women to touch fighters.
Today, she continues to teach the sport of Muay Thai and brings humanitarian aid to fighters and Buddhist temples. Jessika Lopez is a true fighter in and out of the ring, and a great example of a woman who fought through adversity to make a name for herself in a male dominated field and increase opportunities for other women. We are proud to have such inspirational female role models on staff at Partners in Care Foundation and excited to continuously see Jessika grow within the agency!