About

ShirleyBlakePhotography (1) (2)Jennifer moved to the Pacific Northwest at just four years old. She felt most at home when exploring the neighboring woods, filming short movies, cozying up indoors to draw and write, and asking her mother questions like, “How is it possible that God was never born?”

In high school, Jennifer wrote two YA novels — both inspired by personal events. Although she knew little about publication, she believed in her stories and began the long journey of sending them into the world through editing, querying, and (hopefully) publication.

2011 – Opinion Editor for The Commuter Newspaper

With a strong interest in controversial subjects, Jennifer became the opinion editor for her college newspaper, The Commuter. She later took on a weekly opinion column and was commissioned to co-write a humorous advice column. By working with the advertising department to promote student readership and participation, Jennifer discovered a passion for marketing and publicity.

2012 – Writing Assistant for College Writing Center

While writing for her college paper, Jennifer read an inspiring story by a self-conscious student, sparking her desire to motivate young people to feel empowered by their voice. She began tutoring at two college-level writing centers and co-developed curriculum and training modules for new staff, as well as learning materials for students. Her commitment to staff development and working with student writing motivated her to create The YA Publication Project, a literary video series dedicated to inspiring young adults to pursue writing, literature, and publishing.

2014 – Lead Teacher for Child Development Center

Many college students told Jennifer that their self-doubt came from a lack of creative freedom and security during childhood. She chased the source of their struggle and began working as a lead teacher for two child development centers. She researched the constructivism learning philosophy, as well as psychologist Ellis Paul Torrance and his findings on creative thinking. As a teacher, she aimed to create a gracious space for ingenuity (what she believes takes creativity, risk taking, and abstract thinking).

2017 – Program Assistant for the Early Learning Hub

After a toddler in-need was abruptly pulled from Jennifer’s classroom due to inadequate funding, she began assisting the Early Learning Hub in developing a coordinated, effective system of early learning services for children and families at-risk. She is a member of the Health Care Integration and Data & Evaluation work groups, and co-created a medical referral guide that connects children with developmental delays to community resources, as well as a regional data book to assist the governing board in strategic decision making. She also works alongside Boost Oregon and community health agencies to educate parents about childhood vaccinations. In collaboration with the Parent Engagement work group, Jennifer plans to facilitate Parent Cafés across the tri-county region. In the future, she is interested in training social/emotional curriculum to teachers and child care providers.

2018 – Member of The Resilience Project

Jennifer created a videographic series called A Deepening of Knowing You, inspired by the web comic A Softer World, as well as the cinematic collage style of digital storyteller Leonardo Dalessandri and The Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows created by John Koenig.

After watching Jennifer’s collaborative episode about expressing internal and external identity, the Regional Director of Linn-Benton Community College invited her to participate in digital storytelling workshops hosted by The Resilience Project, a community movement empowering at-risk people to turn their experiences into stories of strength. From there, Jennifer led a team for the Summer Games fundraiser, completing as many community-building challenges as possible over a week. Her enthusiasm earned her an invitation to serve on the Summer Games Planning Committee.

Other

Jennifer earned a Bachelor of Arts in English, completing coursework in grammar, creative writing, and literary analysis. She completed a 6-month editorial and marketing internship with Ashland Creek Press where she identified print, online, and radio promotional opportunities; designed materials to be published; created press releases; evaluated manuscripts for accurate content and grammatical correctness; and collaborated with authors and editors to ensure quality and timeliness of publications. In order to connect readers to thought-provoking works, she spent 6 months volunteering with CALYX, Inc, an independent publisher of art and literature by women.