The Marshall County High School senior recalled how learning about the formation of a rainbow prompted her to reflect on God.
"It was designed just perfectly to be that way," she said.
And that's only one example of how the aspiring mechanical engineer finds harmony between her love for science and her religious beliefs.
"I think that the more you question, the more you come to know and understand your faith. ... I hope to spread that to everybody," she said.
Anderson said her faith also inspires her to excel, both physically and academically.
As captain and four-year member of her school's varsity swim team, Anderson says she always pushes herself to swim faster. She's also maintained straight As throughout her high school career, even while taking a total of nine advanced placement classes.
"I know that God wants me to be all I can be. I really want to ... use the skills and talents He's given me and do everything I can with them," she said.
Jessica Anderson, daughter of Mark and Martha Anderson of Benton, is the Mid-Continent University Teen of the Week. Each Monday, the Sun features a different MCU Teen of the Week selected from nominees who guidance counselors throughout western Kentucky and southern Illinois submit to the Sun. Mid-Continent University will provide each Teen of the Week with a $2,500 annual scholarship to its university, which is renewable for four years. In the spring, a Teen of the Year will be chosen from the weekly winners. The Teen of the Year is eligible for a full four-year scholarship to Mid-Continent University or a cash award of $2,500, paid through the Paducah Sun, if the student selects another college to attend.
Anderson is the youngest of four children, and engineering seems to run in her blood. Her father works as a chemical engineer, while two of her siblings devoted their college careers to mechanical engineering.
"We always joke around that we've got to keep the tradition going," Anderson said.
She said the field appeals to her because she enjoys solving problems. But Anderson is more likely to find problems in a textbook than she is in life, as she approaches most situations with a positive outlook.
"If something bad has happened, you can't change it, but you can look for the good in every situation," she said.
Anderson hopes to spread this attitude to others by involving herself in her school and local community. She tutors children through the Calvert Area Mentoring Program, served as historian for the Future Business Leaders of America, and is a two-year member of the Marshall Militia pep club.
Of her extracurricular activities, Anderson said she finds tutoring most rewarding.
"It's great to be able to go and help them out, and to know that I can help them push themselves to be their best," she said.
Contact Laurel Black, a Paducah Sun staff writer, at 270-575-8641.