This year will be Jennifer's fourth year attending California State University, Northridge, where she's still majoring in Child and Adolescent Development. She's also worked as a tutor for deaf and hard of hearing college students and a teacher assistant in public speaking for deaf and hard of hearing students as well. Last summer she worked at Camp Pacifica in Ahwahnee, California, as a counselor and horse staff for 120 deaf, hard of hearing, and hearing campers. This coming year she will do an internship at the Child and Family Guidance Center, a private school that provides resources that public schools cannot provide to students with mental health problems.
Born to deaf parents, Jennifer graduated from the Michigan School for the Deaf with a 3.9 GPA where she was salutatorian. All four years she was on the Academic Bowl team and won awards at meets; Drama Club (in plays); and the volleyball, basketball, and track teams (honorable mention all-state). She was also class president, and on the yearbook staff for three years.
In addition to all of this, she has a passion for public service. Jennifer estimates she volunteered over 4000 hours during high school. Her activities ranged from teaching sports to younger children, raising money for breast cancer, being a motivational speaker at the Michigan EDHI, and volunteering at the local children's hospital.
Jennifer has chosen childhood development as her major after recognizing her strong affinity for helping young children. She plans to work with children with hearing loss, helping them be successful in life. She worked at the Holley Ear Institute's summer camps where she got first-hand experience working with such children, and really enjoyed that.
In addition to her schoolwork at Northridge, she participated in the Triathlon Club. She also went to Costa Rica and participated in a week-long Ecology Project International program to study sea turtles. While there she got to experience releasing five baby leatherback sea turtles and to witness a full grown leatherback, an experience that has stimulated a desire to go back and volunteer at the Pacuare Nature Reserve, as well as volunteer with organizations in California focusing on saving sea turtles.