Jazz Jenkins, born and raised in Westchester, New York, has strong opinions and knows it. She has been an advocate for social equality and human rights since before she can remember. She is extremely proud to be working with STOMP Out Bullying to put an end to some of the prejudice and injustices present in our society today.
A senior in high school, Jazz is an up and coming stage actress, bass player, vocalist, fire poi spinner, writer and slam poet. She has been studying Mandarin Chinese for six years now and recently traveled to Beijing and Shanghai with a few of her classmates; an eye opening experience. She is also the bass player in her school's jazz band and bass section leader in the orchestra. Along with this, she is president of the math club and a proud member of the National Junior Honor Society. She has played soccer, softball and basketball on various school and travel teams but now sprints and throws shot put for the New Rochelle modified track team. Over the past ten years she has performed in many musical theatre productions and her passion for the theatre arts has never faltered. She is also a tap, jazz and ballet dancer to help her with theatre. She dedicates her entire summers to a six week theatre intensive camp where she drills her vocal, dancing and acting skills. Jazz was a Girl Scout of America for seven years and has been a member of Jack and Jill since she was two. Jack and Jill is a program dedicated to the empowerment and education of black youth. Through this, she has got a chance to meet kids from many different walks of life and learn just what it means to stand up for herself and her community.
All of these interests of hers have allowed her to see and explore many different points-of-view and have opened her eyes to experiences that she had never known to be possible. Her goal in life is to be able to see as many places as she can, share stories with those whom she meets and learn as much as she can in her time here. She has already conquered Barbados, London, China, the Dominican Republic, Haiti and Mexico. Hopefully there are many more to come.
Jazz never really considered herself a victim of bullying though she has had many experiences where her peers thought it was their duty to pick out her flaws. Jazz is one to stick up for herself and encounters like this are usually over within minutes. Unfortunately, there are many children and adults who don't have the capability to overcome. Here is where the problem begins. After much thought surrounding the topic, she realized that bullying is a small part of a much bigger problem. One that extends further than school cafeterias and online chat rooms. Bullying is the byproduct of a society that glorifies certain attributes and lifestyles and puts them on a pedestal, leaving those who don’t fit the mold at the bottom of a hierarchy of acceptance. Here is where our problem lies. Acceptance. What the world needs to understand is that different is not and will never be synonymous to bad. If children are taught this at a young age, they will grow and mature into open minded, open hearted teenagers and then adults. In our fragile adolescence, we don’t understand the capacity of our words and more importantly the, sometimes, insignificance of others. Casual blows to our self-esteem from a myriad of sources, which are then glorified by social media and our peers, results in low self-confidence, low self-esteem and no drive to be the individuals we want to be. Jazz believes that many small voices in unison are much bigger than the ones we had thought to be the loudest. She has a passion towards LGBTQA rights, feminism, transmovement and racial equality and feels acceptance should be the first topic in all of our textbooks.