Opposites Attract

USD alums Jessica '09 and Joshua '08 Denton

BEST FRIENDS BUILD A HAPPY MARRIAGE AND A BLOSSOMING BUSINESS

Most love stories begin when couples meet and sparks fly. This was not the case for Jessica ’09 and Joshua ’08 Denton.

Jessica describes their first interaction when they met as students: “We met the week before school started. My friends and I were walking back to our dorm rooms after an orientation event. While that night ended up being a lot of fun, Josh and I did not hit it off,” she recalls. “As a matter of fact, we were total opposites. He was talkative and energetic, while I was shy and timid.”

Given preconceived notions, they didn’t realize until they ran into one another later and started talking that they had a lot in common: both were first generation college students and were part of close-knit families. Eventually, Josh worked up the courage to ask Jessica out.

“Well, he tricked me into a date,” she recalls. “He asked me to stop by his dorm for help with a paper. When I showed up, he asked me if I was hungry and said we should go get something to eat. Next thing I knew, we were at Fashion Valley buying movie tickets. A few weeks later, Josh asked me to be his girlfriend.”

That was more than a decade ago. They’ve been together ever since.

Looking back at their days on campus, camaraderie with friends still shines bright. “I would say playing football and rooming with my best friend from high school, Fred Montgomery ’09 (BS/BA) stands out,” says Joshua. “We literally experienced everything together, from winning our first football championship to late night study sessions to pranking Public Safety. Fittingly, he ended up being the best man at our wedding.”

Now an elementary school teacher, Jessica chose her career because of how much she enjoyed tutoring others as a student at USD.

“It never felt like a job to me, because it was fun. Before my father passed, he encouraged me to choose a career path I would enjoy for years to come. And today, I still look forward to seeing my students daily.”

Since graduation, Jessica earned an MEd from UC San Diego and is currently pursuing a doctorate in leadership studies from USD. Josh expects to complete his MBA this spring; he’s thinking about teaching business classes. Clearly, other traits the couple shares are drive and ambition.

Sadly, another commonality the couple shares was that they both lost fathers to cancer. “We couldn’t wrap our minds around the fact that cancer and other illnesses continue to take the lives of so many peoples’ loved ones,” says Jessica. “So, we started educating ourselves.”

The pair started researching the ways that diet plays a role in the body’s ability to remain healthy and ward off foreign invaders. They began learning about “superfoods” and how they can boost immune systems by creating an internal environment that can help to eliminate cancer cells and encourage them to remain dormant.

As they began their own new dietary regimen, they quickly realized there weren’t many products that supported their busy, health-conscious lifestyle. Kitchen experimentation began.

“Meal prepping became our Sunday ritual,” Jessica recalls. “Josh started calling me the ‘mad scientist.’ But one day I created a concoction that Josh said gave him a sustainable energy and kept him alert and focused all day. We knew we weren’t the only ones looking for handmade vegan drinks that supported healthy living.”

In 2016, they launched Beyond Brew, a beverage company that delivers energy and nutrition while promoting health and well-being. While Jessica crafts new recipes, Josh handles the marketing. As they work to expand their business, they hope to generate enough revenue to launch a charity that spreads the mantra “let food be thy medicine” in underserved communities.

“Now we sell our beverages at local markets. With our growing fan base and the continued support of our friends and family, we hope to continue expanding in San Diego,” says Jessica. “Our mission not only includes supporting health and well-being, but educating people on the benefits of healthy eating.”

As they pursue their business venture, they take care to make the health of their marriage a priority.

“Make sure you’re best friends,” advises Jessica. “You have to be able to be silly together by doing the things that make you laugh. We’ve been through some emotionally difficult times. Losing our fathers to cancer was an incredibly difficult time in our lives. Praying and placing our faith in God was something that kept us afloat. Praying for guidance, an open heart and will has kept us strong.”  — Crystal Peterson ’10 (BA)

Submit your own Torero Love Story at toreronetwork.sandiego.edu/featuredtorero.

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