Jessica Vavougios

by Liana Carbone

Nickname: Jessie Vee Occupation: Elementary school teacher, Zumba instructor and food blogger Age: 25 Generation: Third Dad from: Gytheio, Greece Mom from: Pontecorvo, Latina, Lazio Raised in: Ville Saint-Laurent Speaks: Italian, English, Greek and French

What would someone be surprised to know about you? I love to study and read cookbooks. I am in the process of writing my very own cookbook where I showcase traditional Italian and Greek foods with a healthy twist!

How will Italian culture change in Canada over the next 10 years? I feel that Italians will have to work harder to preserve the Italian language and family traditions. I want to believe that my generation will make an effort to keep this rich culture alive in their daily lives.

What do you hope never changes? I hope that young Italians continue to keep their Italian traditions close to their hearts—especially in the kitchen!

Best thing about being Italian-Canadian: Being able to travel to Italy, understand the language and culture and coming back home with stronger bonds to my Italian roots.

What’s the best advice you’ve ever received? To never give up and never stop learning and growing as a person

What job would you be terrible at? A job that involves sitting at a desk all day

What Italian stereotype do you completely live up to? Communicating with hand gestures and a loud voice!

Photography by Liana Carbone, Makeup by Vanessa Davis