Serious-looking young woman with dark hair and glasses

Jessilee Vance bio

Jessilee Vance was born to Preston and Patsy Vance on January 19, 2004, in Oxford, Mississippi. Jessilee is the youngest of the Vances' two children, with an older sister named Emma. Preston works in sales at the Batesville Casket Company, and Patsy is a homemaker.

Preston believed in the mores of the 1950s regarding the roles of men and women in the household. However, Jessilee's childhood, while conservative and restrictive, was happy. Jessilee and Emma wanted for nothing except the freedom to pursue any career traditionally perceived as suited for men.

Jessilee belonged to Belles of the South, which groomed girls from cotillion through their debutante ball. Secretly, with Patsy's help, Jessilee also belonged to Potential in Action, an organization for girls that encouraged life skills such as critical thinking, athletics, and career focus. Potential in Action held an annual candy sales fundraiser, and Jessilee considerably outsold her troop-mates each year.

As a student, Jessilee was confident and driven. She always put forth maximum effort, which showed in her grades. Throughout elementary school, Jessilee maintained straight As, except for the B she received in her seventh grade English class when, on a group project, one of her teammates blew off the assignment, which lowered every other team member's grade.

Jessilee sailed through high school with a 3.8 GPA. She had plenty of time to study, given Preston's refusal to allow extracurricular activities other than those meant to prepare a young woman for marriage and homemaking. Jessilee managed to focus on AP classes in math and science with help from Patsy, who kept Preston blissfully ignorant by sharing only Jessilee's honors certificates and Dean's list accolades.

Privately, Jessilee's career goals include working in the Amazon rainforest as a Conservation Biologist. She enrolled at Ole Miss in the Fall 2023 semester with plans to major in Biology. Publicly, Jessilee is pursuing a career in interior design, approved by Preston with the caveat that Jessilee does not permit a career to interfere with a marriage.

Jessilee and Patsy concocted a scheme to keep Preston ignorant of Jessilee's major course of study. It involves editing images of report cards and class schedules to change the names of Jessilee's classes, the edited version of which Patsy shares with Preston.

Preston gives Jessilee an on-campus housing allowance, which is deposited into Jessilee's bank account. However, Jessilee lives rent-free in the co-ed social experiment house "Under Glass: The Study of Generation Z in the Real." The owner, entrepreneur Hoyt Biffle, approached Jessilee personally and extended a personal invitation, which she accepted. Jessilee is saving her housing allowance to afford a move, graduate school, or both.

To enable Jessilee's continued participation in Under Glass, Patsy keeps her secret, and Hoyt protects her identity when the conservative organization Concerned Oxford Parents, of which Preston is an active member, protests outside the "Under Glass" house.


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