I wanted to make it so people could see what I see… I think that we are unique in a lot of good ways. If people are missing the community here they’re really missing out.Volunteering is a way to enrich the community and forge personal connections. Most recently, Jen acted as the Volunteer Manager at the Constant Comfort Fort McMurray Food Festival. She’s also on the Community Investment Committee with United Way Fort McMurray, where she conducts interviews and assesses gaps to determine how the United Way should direct their resources. Jen with some of the Constant Comfort Fort McMurray Food Festival team Jen came to the United Way after being laid off from a job in 2015 due to company cutbacks. Attending the United Way’s Seeing is Believing Tour was a turning point for her. Only an hour into the tour she was moved to tears. With the expected emotional toll that losing a job takes, she felt as if this was what her life was leading up to. “They say everything happens for a reason: this was that moment for me.” Maintaining her enthusiasm for volunteerism has never been a problem for Jen, although she admits that too much work has led to exhaustion in the past. Learning to be discerning about where she volunteers her time has helped her to find balance. “It’s really important to take the relaxation with it.” Jen admits that after the Food Festival ended she took some well-deserved time to herself. “I [also] stopped being so hard on myself as a mom,” she adds. Not spreading herself too thin allows her to maintain a positive environment for her daughters. Jen Kennett continuously strives to enhance Fort McMurray’s community, to make this not only a place to live, but also a place to call home. She’s looking forward to becoming a Sparks leader in September, and has just been accepted to the 2017/2018 Leadership Wood Buffalo program. To those who come here with preconceived ideas of what this community is, she offers this advice:
Leave all the things you’ve heard at the Welcome to Fort McMurray sign and just open your eyes.