Zoë Jenkins is a 18 year old people-centered storyteller and facilitator (and pie-baker). Zoë was raised two generations removed from sharecropping and knows the importance of education firsthand.
Zoë joined the Kentucky Student Voice Team in eighth grade after witnessing disparities in education access at her middle school which prioritized the performance of out-of-district gifted students over the well-being of their disadvantaged students. Throughout high school, Zoë traveled across Kentucky — facilitating roundtables and workshops with thousands of students around school climate, student voice in decision-making, and their dreams after high school. She also traveled around the country sharing student-led research to education policymakers.
Zoë quickly realized that there was a major disconnect between education decision-makers and their most important stakeholders.
After experiencing pushback from her high school to prioritize emotional and mental wellbeing after the school shootings at Parkland and the subsequent push to harden schools, Zoë engaged in Civics Unplugged's inaugural fellowship where she found her "you-shaped hole" — powering stakeholder and empathy-driven education. After graduating, she was elected to the inaugural Civics 2030 Steering Committee as the Chair and now consults for Unplugged Strategies.
When Zoë reported the escalation of racist micro-aggressions in her high school STEM program, she was met with an apathetic response, she founded DICCE, an organization empowering an empathy-driven generation through inclusion and anti-racist curriculum and resources. Through DICCE, Zoë has facilitated workshops with Stanford University's d.school, The Nobel Prize Summit, and many youth-centered organizations. She was recently selected as an Aerie 2021 Change-maker.
Zoë is a first-year Echols and Ridley Scholar at the University of Virginia where she will be pursuing studies in Economics and Youth and Social Innovation.