Jennifer is an inspiring advocate committed to social change through civic engagement. Some of Jennifer's campus involvements include being a part of the Alternative Breaks program through the Mary Ellen Brandell Volunteer Center, Campus Ambassadors Program student coordinator at Undergraduate Admissions, being a McNair Scholar, Phi Eta Sigma Freshman National Honors Society, and previous memberships with Student Union United Way, International Student Conversation Partner, and Safe Zone Training. Continuing to exhibit her passion for community engagement, Jennifer has been actively involved with the Central Michigan University Alternative Breaks program. In the spring of 2015, she spent a week in Immokalee, Florida addressing the issue of diversity within the context of primary education. In the Fall of 2015, Jennifer was a site leader on a weeklong Alternative Break to the Everglades National Park, where she developed a passion for environmental conservation. While Jennifer's list of service leadership and community organizing is extensive, her academic achievements further highlight her dedication to active citizenship. As a McNair Scholar, Jennifer has demonstrated a deep commitment to learning about access to education. She is currently working with Dr. Frim Ampaw on original research related to the unique experiences of first-generation college students.
I have been fortunate enough to have been nurtured by a community oriented university in my undergraduate career. Frequently I study structural disparities, inequalities, and disenfranchisement. With a great desire to be an active citizen, I participated in Alternative Breaks working with migrant children in Florida. Since this experience and the many other breaks that followed, I consistently ask how these problems came to be. I continually ask what the root causes are so I can better address the intersectional needs of the issue. For change to happen, this is often the most difficult part. To combat these problems, I firmly believe in a holistic approach. It takes a village; it takes education, understanding, and mentorship to foster change. Working with over eighty students who aspire to be change makers in the Alternative Break program I have seen the strength and drive that comes from being mentored and educated. Collaborations alone in the form of research, organizing, volunteering, and outreach are monumental in combating social problems rooted in education. While there is no one size fits all answer to social problems, collaborative community oriented efforts can make an impact first hand.