Jessica Heupel Hopes to Bring Nature’s Harvests to Her Naturopathic Practice

It’s time for another feature on one of Canada’s hopefuls, someone who will help lead the next generation towards a future where alternative medicines become the mainstream. Jessica Heupel is a fourth-year intern at The Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine (CCNM) and this year she became the most recent recipient of the Foundation’s Education Bursary Program. We’re honored to have the opportunity to support this up and comer in the field of naturopathy, and we hope that you enjoy her profile below.

A Story Born from a Farm in Stony Plain

Jessica was born into the life. Having grown up on a farm near Edmonton Alberta, she is no stranger to a place that our own Foundation likes to call home – the vegetable garden. In her youth, Jessica would toil away under the hot summer sun of Stony Plain to help maintain her family’s garden and greatly enjoyed the fruits of her labour as the harvest arrived. She soon put her green-thumb to work at a chemical-free GMO-free U-Pick garden, in addition to an organic permaculture medicinal herb farm in the area, learning more about the health and wellness benefits of sustainably grown fruits and vegetables. This knowledge base would become the foundation to feed her thirst for further education, along with a desire to communicate their numerous applications to the masses.

Jessica went on to the University of Alberta (Stony Plain) and achieved a Bachelor’s of Science in Biology with Honours and a minor in Nutrition. Jessica then headed east to Toronto, Ontario where she enrolled in The Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine (CCNM) – a private not-for-profit institution that is one of Canada’s leading naturopathic medicine education provider. In search of financial assistance, she discovered the Plant a Seed & See What Grows Foundation Bursary Program which supports students in pursuit of studies in Naturopathic Medicine.

Already Sprouting Seeds

While her education at CCNM would be considered a full plate for many, Jessica has also taken on courses in pediatric nutrition, applied kinesiology, and labour support, the latter of which has her currently offering doula services in the GTA area. She also works with individuals under the supervision of licensed naturopathic doctors (ND) at the Robert Schad Naturopathic Clinic (RSNC) in Ontario. It’s this passion for the wide and growing field of naturopathic medicine that led Jessica to submit an essay and apply for the Plant a Seed & See What Grows Foundation’s bursary for students at CCNM. Congratulations, Jessica on receiving this year’s bursary!

What’s to come for this emerging star?

From Practice to Pollinating Awareness

Jessica intends to return home to Alberta, after graduating from the CCNM program, to set up her own clinical practice. She would like to integrate more nature into her work, enabling patients and the public alike to realize the innumerable benefits:

“When I graduate, I will certainly be planting an organic permaculture herbal garden and food forest. I hope to share nature’s harvests with patients and the surrounding community through herbal walks, U-Pick opportunities, making local teas and tinctures for patients, or simply by bringing some seasonal produce into the clinic to share. I would like to inspire my friends and patients to garden and benefit from the healing energies of the plants, and the fresh, chemical-free vegetables, fruit, and herbs. If we can interact with Mother Earth a little more, I think we’d all be a little healthier.”

If this feature gives you hope for the future of our youth and their role in creating a healthier and sustainable society, please sign up to be a Friend of the Foundation here. Please don’t forget to donate generously to the Plant a Seed & See What Grows Foundation, so that we can help support more deserving students such as Jessica.