SOE Award Recipient
2019 • Nonprofit •
"Have a good plan. Plant the seeds early. Be fearless. Take well-calculated risks. Trust your instincts. Surround yourself with a team of smart people to help guide your vision. Teamwork makes the dreamwork."
Jen is a graduate of Santa Barbara High School and Antioch University who has been writing songs and playing music most of her life. Although her professional background was in marketing and public relations, she decided at her father’s suggestion to get herself out there as a musician. She went to work in a studio and eventually recorded her own music including two songs that were purchased for a Sharon Stone film. Zeroing in on her true calling, Jen decided — without knowing much about the nonprofit world — to create a program that would help instill self-confidence through music in girls aged 7-17. In 2011, the seed for Girls Rock Santa Barbara was planted. After a year spent researching everything she could about how to start a nonprofit, Jen launched the first summer program in 2012. It attracted 100 girls. Since then, the organization has grown to a community of more than 4,000 students, and now boasts an after-school program running five days a week, a 7-week summer sleep away camp, and day camp.