Student Achievements: Jenni-marie Santos

Jenni-marie SantosClass of 2009

Major: Sociology, Certificate in Nonprofit Management

Jenni-marie Santos has participated in Break Away for the past three years, first as a participant and, for the past two years, as a leader. During the 2005-06 and 2006-07 academic years, her Break Away projects centered around prison reform. As a participant and leader, she worked with the Break Away group to learn and to educate others about the issues surrounding prisoners in the U.S., from exploitation to lack of rehabilitation to problems finding adequate housing once released from the prison system. Jenni-marie traveled with the group to San Francisco to work with a number of prisoners’ rights organizations there. Last year, she helped organize all aspects of the Breakaway trip at JSC, from finding sites for the group to work to leading the meetings and pre-trip training. The group traveled to New York City for its main trip, working with a book distribution project for prisoners, a needle exchange program and a safe-housing project for former prisoners.

This year, Jenni-marie is leading a Break Away Project focused on disaster relief. The group’s main trip will be to New Orleans, where they will be involved with post-Hurricane Katrina work such as gutting houses, working with children affected by the disaster and working at animal shelters. To prepare the group for the trip, she and her co-leaders are organizing a number of pre-trip activities, including a campus lecture by a noted meteorologist, who will talk about climate change and its social implications.

After she graduates, Jenni-marie hopes to eventually pursue a graduate degree in gender studies. Before grad school, though, she is considering working in a number of non-profit organizations, including the local Clarina Howard Nichols Center, where she would like to help connect people with the resources they need to combat domestic violence.