HI, I'M ZOË JENKINS
Keep scrolling to learn more about me!
WHAT I'M UP TO
You can learn more at my LinkedIn
Founder and Director, Since March 2020
I have struggled with micro-aggressions and racism in K-12 for as long as I can remember. After a particularly egregious encounter in February 2020, I started looking for diversity and inclusion training for Gen Z. Seeing that there wasn't such a thing, I partnered with some people at the University of Kentucky and Civics Unplugged to create DICCE — diversity, inclusion, cultural competency, and equity.
DICCE creates curriculum, resource guides, and other materials for young people wanting to bring diversity, equity, inclusion, and anti-racism to their communities. In the next year, we are continuing to pilot new elements of our programming so that we can impact more young people.
Chair of the Civics 2030 Steering Committee, Since July 2020
In the fall of 2019, I applied to Civics Unplugged's inaugural fellowship — and it was life-changing. For the first time, I had a really strong command of how my lived experience, personality, and passions could all intersect to create meaningful systems change.
When our trip to D.C. was canceled due to the pandemic, the kids didn't skip a beat. With CU Staff, we created Civics 2030 — an initiative to mobilize support for Gen Zers to strengthen our communities and political systems. We kicked off the campaign with Commence 2030, a first of its kind event celebrating Gen Z, which I had the honor of hosting in June 2020.
Since then, I have been elected to the Civics 2030 Steering Committee — a group of 5 kids leading decision making for the campaign — and serve as their chair. I am also working at CU to support the youth in our community and supporting partnerships with the YMCA, Schmidt Futures and Rhodes Trust.
Get Schooled Exec. Producer, Since October 2019
I joined the KSVT in my 8th-grade year and have been a member ever since. At our core, we elevate and amplify the voices of Kentucky students. Whether that is through roundtables at schools across KY, presenting to policymakers and educators, or traveling the country to tell the story of KY students, we have changed the narrative around the role of students in education.
In 2019, I expanded our storytelling repertoire when I founded our podcast, Get Schooled: Student Stories From Across KY. Since our founding, we have produced episodes on topics from ACT retakes to alternative schooling to KY legislation and its impacts on KY students. You can listen to some of our episodes here.
A lot of people look down on KY. The traveling and learning I have gotten to do around the state has shown me just how beautifully diverse our state is and how important it is to get past the narrative and start making our education systems work for our students.
Spring 2020 Young Explorer
Through this grant program, I worked with the Get Schooled podcast team to create the KY edStorytellers Fellowship which elevates the voices of students who are least heard in our education system through podcasting. The funding not only pays for equipment but also helps us close financial barriers that normally keep students out of this work.
I have also met an incredible array of young change-makers from around the world. National Geographic has truly enabled a group of young people to explore how to make the world better — and opportunity not often afforded to kids. The work that we have all done, and will be doing, is only more proof that we have to invest in our young people.
KENTUCKY YMCA YOUTH AND GOVERNMENT
President of the UN General Assembly, Spring 2020 - March 2021
In sixth grade, I found my voice at my very first KY YMCA mock congress program. I have been going to their conferences ever since. My interest in democracy, poise at a podium, and some of the most important people in my life came from these events.
The program's presiding officers were the epitome of magnetic, authentic, and full of love. That is when I realized leadership is not leading from the front, but being a servant and that vulnerability is a must.
In March of 2020, amidst the pandemic, my dream of being a presiding officer came true! I can't wait to help run and improve the conferences that made me who I am so that other KY students can find their voices in government.
WHAT I'M ABOUT
I am all about bringing others along, learning and listening, and dreaming big. Though my exact career plans continue to change, I want to make the world a better place. Cliché, right? Well, as I have gotten older, I have realized that desire is rooted in equity and making sure that everyone is heard, respected, and feels a sense of belonging in their community.
I also love local restaurants, independent bookstores, anything by Chloe x Halle, and going to Kroger.
Watch my TEDxGEM Talk on the empathy crisis
Want to get in touch with me for speaking engagements or public appearances? Email