10 Most Beautiful 2012

Meet the 20 women who were chosen as finalists to compete in the 417 Magazine 10 Most Beautiful Women contest.

DISCLAIMER: The information in this article was fact checked and accurate at press time, but 417 Magazine cannot guarantee its accuracy indefinitely.

(page 7 of 20)

Jennifer Tomb, 33

Occupation: Speech-Language Pathologist, Springfield Public Schools
City: Springfield
Family: Husband Eric Tomb, 10-year-old Kaylei

What is your charity of choice, and why is it important to you?

St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. There are so many organizations that give so much to our community, but the one I choose to support is St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. After taking part in Team-in-Training in 2008 and raising money for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, I have learned that I have a passion for helping others like myself who have fought or are currently fighting cancer and other diseases. I believe in supporting St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital’s mission to help children with catastrophic diseases regardless of their family’s ability to pay. Every child and their families deserve a chance to battle disease without the immense worry of how to pay for the large hospital costs. My current goal is to raise money for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and run in the St. Jude Marathon in December 2012.

What do you think makes a woman beautiful?

I believe a beautiful woman shows inner beauty in her daily life. She helps others in need and within her community. I believe a beautiful woman is humble and embraces life.

Why do you think you’re a 10 Most Beautiful Women finalist?

I believe I can show people that helping others and living life with a positive attitude makes you a beautiful woman. I strive to make a difference in peoples’ lives and embrace life each day. I believe this makes me a beautiful woman.

Do you volunteer, or are you involved in any philanthropic or community organizations?

I work with the Nixa Band program as their color guard instructor. Also, I have raised money for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society and American Cancer Society.

How are those experiences meaningful to you?

While working with the Nixa Band program, I get to work with so many talented individuals and for a director who not only is a great leader but who truly cares about his students and community. Even though I have lived in Springfield most of my life, I feel like I am a part of the Nixa community, as well. Nixa feels like home to me.

Raising money for the Leukemia and Lymphoma society was a great goal of mine. Through Team-in-Training, I was able to raise money to help advance cancer research. Also, a portion of money raised for LLS is directly given to patients to help offset some of their necessary costs such as medicine and transportation to receive treatment.

Tell us what you do for a living:

I am a speech-language pathologist for Springfield Public Schools. I believe I was meant to work in this field because I love helping people of all ages learn to communicate. Communication is the basis for everything we do, and being able to help students and adults gain independence and confidence in their ability to have a conversation with ease, tell others what they want, or share stories and feelings makes me feel like I’m making a difference in peoples’ lives. I can’t imagine doing anything else.

What has been your proudest moment?

My proudest moment occurred the day I graduated with my master’s degree in August 2002. I was a new mom and overcame hurdles associated with juggling motherhood and going to school. The moment I walked across that stage at Missouri State, I looked up in the direction where my 15-month-old daughter was sitting and thought, “I wouldn’t have this any other way.” She helped me become a centered and focused student. I knew I had become the person I was meant to be—a speech-language pathologist and a mom.

What has been your biggest hurdle to overcome?

The biggest hurdle in my life that I have overcome has to be my fight with Hodgkin’s lymphoma in 2007. My daughter was 5 years old, and I was in a fairly new relationship with my now-husband, Eric. With the help of Eric, my greatest support and twin sister, Melody Kessinger, and so many family members and great friends, I fought Hodgkin’s lymphoma with a determination I never knew existed. I became the strongest version of me I have ever seen. I feel blessed and strive to be the best version of myself each day of my survivorship.

What are three words that describe you?

Determined, dedicated, caring.

What’s your favorite feature about yourself?

My favorite feature is my nose. I used to dislike my nose when I was a kid. In fact, when I was in fourth grade I remember covering it up with my hand while I sat in class because I thought it was huge. I was embarrassed and wished I could have a straight nose like other girls in my class. Now, I embrace my nose because it looks my mom’s nose and it reminds me of my Filipino heritage.

When you were a child, who did you think was the most beautiful woman?

When I was younger, I thought that Whitney Houston was the most beautiful woman. She reminded me of my mom because she was a beautiful singer and had warm, brown skin. She was a gorgeous singer, and I adored her music. I don’t think there was a song I didn’t like!

What’s your favorite source of inspiration?

My favorite source of inspiration is my daughter. She amazes me every day, and she exhibits qualities that I wish I had. She has passion for many things, including dance. She is considerate and wants to help everyone. She is also inquisitive and a great conversationalist. She inspires me to work hard and become a better mom.

What advice would you give to a young girl about being beautiful?

My advice is that being beautiful is more than your appearance. Women who are truly beautiful know how to embrace life and the people around them. Beauty is shown by the gifts and time we give to others and how we try to make life a better place for the people we love and for people on our community.

What are your favorite ways to spend a day off?

I love spending time being a mom, wife and friend. On my time off, I like being a dance mom and driving my daughter to her activities. I love hanging out on the couch and watching movies with my husband. Some days, I am fortunate to have time to hang out with my best friend and twin sister and just do nothing at all.

What is your most prized possession?

My most prized possession is my Livestrong bracelet. It may seem silly to place importance on a yellow plastic bracelet, but I held onto this bracelet throughout treatment waiting for the right moment to wear it. Once I began wearing it, I have worn it every day only taking it off when I shower and sleep. It reminds me of my strength as a survivor and of the many survivors who fight this fight each day. I wear it proudly.

What is your Facebook status right now?

Perfect running temp for a 3 mi run J

If you could have one talent that you don’t currently have, what would it be?

I would love to be able to sing well in public. My husband, Eric, loves to sing and willingly sings karaoke when we go out. I have been known to sing with friends, but I get so nervous! Just once I would love to step up to a mic and belt out a Beyonce song without hesitation.

What’s something that might surprise us about you, or a story you love to tell?

I have been a color guard instructor since I was 18 years old. I absolutely love working with young ladies and have made it my mission to help high school girls become independent problem-solvers and gain confidence that will help them in every aspect of their futures.

Head to voting!

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