Jessica Huber

Rolling With It

Doors off. Music up. That’s how Jessica Huber rolls, whether through winding country roads or down the coast to Long Beach, Mississippi, for a weekend getaway with her husband, Duke and their four pups.
Despite twists, turns, and even roadblocks along the journey, Jessica embodies the mantra "life is good." But her journey hasn't been without its unique hurdles. Diagnosed with severe hearing loss in eighth grade, she remained largely untreated until her senior year of high school, when her aunt informed her about disability services that would provide her with hearing aids and tuition assistance for college.
"Disability services helped put me through college, so if it hadn't been for being hearing impaired, I never would have become a teacher," she said. "That taught me early on that there's a blessing in every challenge we face."
God Moves
After dedicating 13 years to teaching middle school math in public and private schools, Jessica felt the need for a career change. “The kids would talk and whisper, and I couldn't understand what they were saying, so towards the end, it was difficult,” she said.
While buying a home with her husband, Duke, and working with real estate agent Juli Jenkins, Jessica casually mentioned her decision to transition out of teaching during a phone conversation.  "I told her I was going to work with computers or find an IT job because that’s what I enjoy,” she recalled.
Jessica's affinity for computers has been a constant throughout her life, dating back to her MySpace days when she crafted custom layouts for her profile. Interestingly, on MySpace in 2007, she first connected with her now-husband, Duke. They married in 2009, and the Morgan City native moved to Greater Baton Rouge.
But Jessica never even applied for one of those jobs. Juli asked if she had considered real estate, sent her a personality assessment, and started praying.
After weeks of prayerful consideration, Jessica decided the school year would be her last as a middle school math teacher. It was time to embark on a new adventure, and while it was a leap of faith, she took it with conviction.
"I prayed about it really hard, and I waited for God to give me signs that it was the right move,” she said. “Towards the end of the school year, I was so happy and excited, and I wasn't afraid. I knew that real estate is what God wanted me to do.”
Real estate also offered the opportunity for Jessica and Duke to explore interventions in their journey with infertility.
After being married for just one year, Jessica received a life-changing call from her doctor. They found aggressive precancerous cells that required immediate surgery. Doctors successfully removed the cells and did everything they could to avoid a complete hysterectomy, but there was no guarantee she would be able to get pregnant.
“We tried for eight years with no luck,” Jessica said. “Then I started real estate and thought this could be it. This could be the answer to the extra money and time to explore more options and make it happen. And then real estate became my baby. I became addicted to selling houses and put off having kids. We always said if we didn't have any by 40, we would just travel, and it would be what it is. So, I'm 43 now, and my husband's 44. And life is what it is.”
Finding Blessings
Being hearing impaired as a Realtor has presented unique challenges. Jessica’s hearing aids connect to Bluetooth so that she can take calls, but she prefers texts and FaceTime over phone calls because she relies on reading lips - a skill she honed in middle and high school.
When many people masked up during the COVID-19 pandemic, between the muffled voices and lack of lips, communication felt more challenging than ever. Instead of giving up, she innovated by offering clients transparent masks so she could easily read their lips.
Continuing education and networking conferences are hit or miss, as they often do not offer closed captioning or have audio systems that may be distorted through hearing aids. Speaking of audio systems - traveling alone in an airport, Jessica cannot hear announcements over the intercom system about important flight updates like delays, boarding processes and gate changes.
Nonetheless, Jessica continues her frequent travels to events, conferences and classes across the United States. Determined not to let being hearing impaired slow her down, Jessica has always relied on her ingenuity to find unique solutions.
She is working to become an advocate for the hearing-impaired community to bring awareness and create change, especially in making airports more easily navigable for the deaf and hearing-impaired community.
She also supports Maddie’s Footprints Baton Rouge, a non-profit established in January 2010 in memory of Madeline Noelle McGrew. The vision of Maddie’s Footprints is to help families who have experienced miscarriages, stillbirths or the loss of an infant by assisting with access to information, counseling and financial assistance for end-of-life and medical expenses.
Jessica makes life look easy as she rolls down the road in her beloved Jeep. “Mine is what you would call a Mall crawler,” she laughed. “It’s pretty and always clean.” Life looking easy doesn’t always mean things went your way. There’s beauty in accepting what is, finding blessings in even the most challenging times, and rolling with it.