A Public Purpose. A Personal Mission.
Jenna began her career as an artist at a public pre-school in Grand Rapids, MI. She fondly remembers the art time between recess and napping, where she was allowed to tap into a creative energy, get messy and show off. At the ripe age of 8, Jenna realized how important art was to her when was asked to participate in the prestigious academic enrichment program at her elementary school. Sadly, she had to decline the offer, as it was scheduled during the same time as her weekly art class. Although her grades were important to her, she was determined to remain loyal to her creative intuition and nothing was going to interfere with that.
In her teen years, the steadfast artist exhibited her work throughout Michigan, was honored as “artist of the year” and won various art competitions. While her confidence as a young public figure and artist grew, she also spent much time volunteering with kids in her community, youth in foster care and teens at a juvenile detention facility. It was at this impressionable age that Jenna observed two critical things that would set the direction for her career path: the importance for kids to access art and the need for nurturing adults to mentor them.
Over the course of the next several years, Jenna dove into higher education and studied art therapy while working in various child welfare settings in Detroit, Chicago and Boston. As her love for art grew, Jenna became skilled and seasoned in working with diverse populations of youth from her professional experiences with group homes, behavioral treatment residential programs (BTR), residential schools, public and private schools, short-term residential placement and stabilization and rapid reintegration (STARR) programs, overnight summer camp, day environmental education camps and college campuses. While Jenna’s drive for connecting kids with art remained at the forefront of her approach to working with kids, her appreciation for the therapeutic and social benefits were reinforced while working with abused and neglected children.
Jenna believes that if children and adolescents are given the supports they need they can lead positive, fulfilling lives and become tremendous community assets. She also believes that a strengths-based philosophy while working with kids is imperative. Jenna tailors each workshop to meet the unique needs of the kids attending, while incorporating best practices for positive youth development, social thinking and her own unique approach that engages art, play, talk and recreational therapies. She has also been formally trained in Collaborative Problem Solving (CPS), Therapeutic Crisis Intervention (TCI) and Non-Abusive Psychological and Physical Intervention (NAPPI).
Please contact Jenna to schedule a consultation!
*To see more of Jenna’s art, click here