At the age of 13, Jenna picked up an issue of National Geographic. Little did she know, her entire perspective on how energy is produced was about to change.
Within this issue, Jenna discovered a story about alternative fuels. Jenna was immediately captivated by the possibility of using all of these different technologies in substitution for fossil fuels. She was so energized, in fact, that she grabbed a highlighter and began making notes on the article. This was the first time Jenna connected her passion for nature with important issues beyond the outdoors.
From there, Jenna’s journey into environmentalism took off. She participated in two Students on Ice expeditions, an organization that takes on international educational and research expeditions to the Arctic and Antarctic regions. As a young person, it was very powerful for Jenna to explore the relevant issues, and identify exactly what changes needed to be made. This program was instrumental in linking all of her passions together.
The desire to engage other young people is a constant endeavour in Jenna’s life. She is focused on bringing conversations about renewable technology and climate change to young people. Jenna believes in the importance of providing other youth with the same opportunities to inspire change. Eventually, she wants to start an environmental education program in her province centered around the impacts of climate change and connection to the land.
Jenna is looking to continue her formal education - focused on renewable energy, of course. She hopes to play a role in transitioning Canada towards 100% renewable technology.
Jenna’s colleagues are inspired by her understanding of the intricacies of a justice-based transition for communities affected by energy developments - clean or dirty. They admire her ability to genuinely understand and support others. Jenna’s work with frontline communities allows her to be ‘real’ with anyone she meets.
Ten years later, Jenna still has the very same issue of National Geographic that initially introduced her to the renewable energy issues she still works on today. Jenna says, “My journey has changed, but it’s been quite a journey, and I’m excited to see where I go in the future as well.”
It just goes to show that inspiration can be found just about anywhere - and when you least expect it.
Jenna was a member of the Canadian Youth Delegation to COP21, and has since taken part in PowerShift Alberta, which offers workshops on issues related to climate change and climate justice in Canada.
Jenna has done extensive work to benefit the Arctic environment, including founding the Youth Arctic Coalition.
Jenna was a founding member of the Students on Ice delegation to the UN Conference on Sustainable Development in 2012.
Jenna currently works in Saskatchewan as an Operations Coordinator for MiEnergy, doing solar design and installation work, where she also helps to bring similar opportunities to young people through a group she helped to create called Generation for Renewable Innovation and Development in Saskatchewan (GRIDS).