Board Spotlight – Meet Jennifer

Jennifer Schinke Kendrick

“[She] was not about to leave the game and go over and stand against the wall where a loser would stand. She intended to participate, wherever Mermaids fit into the scheme of things. Without giving up dignity or identity. She took it for granted that there was a place for Mermaids and that I would know just where.

Well, where DO the Mermaids stand? All the ‘Mermaids’–all those who are different, who do not fit the norm and who do not accept the available boxes and pigeonholes? Answer that question and you can build a school, a nation, or a world on it.”

Robert Fulghum, “Where do the mermaids stand?”

I always have a hard time answering the question, “Where are you from?” I have lived in the Louisville Metro since moving here from Chicago in 2004, but prior to that, I lived in (in no particular order) England, Indiana, Maine, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Texas. I spent every summer of my life at my granny’s house in Point Pleasant, West Virginia (home of the Mothman). From her, I inherited my love of hot coffee, good books, and the firm belief that children are the best way to start people.

My parents and grandparents have modeled a life in service to others—my father and grandfathers through their military service, and my mother and grandmother in their commitments to social justice and education. After obtaining my bachelor’s degree in psychology and sociology from Purdue University, I went on to earn a master’s degree in the Social Sciences from the University of Chicago, a master of arts in women’s and gender studies from the University of Louisville, and a master of science in social work with an emphasis in couples and family therapy, also from the University of Louisville. I have been a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist since 2013.

Currently, I am a PhD student in social work, where my research area is health disparities for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. I have spoken at The Arc of the United States national convention, Applied Behavioral Analysis International, and the National Conference on Family Relations, among others. I have maintained my licensure throughout the PhD program, and continue to be passionate about providing collaborative, compassionate therapy to couples and families navigating life’s complexities.

I live in Meade County with my husband, Jeffery, and our two fur children. Elphaba is an almost-thirteen-year-old black cat, and Oliver is an almost-seven-year-old Black Labrador Retriever. Ollie is trained as a therapy dog, although he informs me that since I work from home now, he is Officially Retired. You’ll usually find me at Louisville City FC games during the summer, or watching costume dramas (or hockey!) and crafting during the rest of the year.


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