Jenny is the 2016 recipient of the Greenwich Chamber of Commerce’s “Michael Dunne Quality of Life Award”, and awarded “Community Health Hero” in 2008 for her work for the town overseeing the Greenwich Youth Services Bureau for over a decade. Jenny is best known for her contributions to the Town Of Greenwich’s Juvenile Review Board and the First Selectman’s Youth Commission. Additionally, she is one of the founding members of the Greenwich Sentinel Foundation. Previously, during her time in Greenwich, Jenny was the Executive Director to the New Canaan Teen Center, and was the 2005 recipient of the State of CT Youth Services Worker of the year.
Jenny’s philanthropic activities include being a radio co-host for the Sentinel Radio Hour, and she is a contributing volunteer columnist with the Greenwich Sentinel newspaper, helping to make our big town just a bit smaller and helping us stay connected to each other. Jenny also is a member of the Junior League of Greenwich Community Advisory Board and an active member of her parish as the Director of Children’s Ministries at Round Hill Community Church.
Yajaira joined the YWCA Greenwich Domestic Abuse Services in 2010, and is currently the full-time Community Educator and Bilingual Advocate. She is the adult advisor for YNet, a youth-led activism program sponsored by the YWCA in partnership with Greenwich High School, addressing the issue of teen dating violence by raising awareness through peer counseling and education while promoting healthy relationships for teens.
Yajaira’s new initiatives reaching teens in Greenwich are training student athletes and coaches on teen dating violence and sexual consent at Greenwich High School including the varsity, JV and freshmen football teams and partnering with the One Love Foundation to bring the Escalation workshop to Greenwich High School students and staff and also to upper school students at all of the independent schools in Greenwich, as well as to parents, educators and other service providers.
Yajaira co-facilitates the YWCA’s Prevention Education Program (PEP) in all three public middle schools in Greenwich. PEP engages students to explore the differences between healthy vs unhealthy relationships, and provides the opportunity to practice relationship skills in an emotionally safe environment. In 2013, Yajaira played an integral role in launching the YWCA’s violence prevention program for elementary-aged students, Second Step, as well as the best-practice girls’ empowerment curriculum, Girls Circle, for middle school-aged girls.
In addition to her outreach work with youth, Yajaira is the YWCA Domestic Abuse Services liaison to the Spanish-speaking community in Greenwich. In addition to emergent and short-term direct service, Yajaira provides outreach through presentations, seminars and collaborations with other service providers in our community to ensure accessibility to Domestic Abuse Services to Spanish-speakers.