My name is Jennifer Woodill, and I am a Mom first and foremost, of two rambunctious boys (ages 7 and 12) who are amazing and beautiful and challenge me to breathe deep and parent mindfully each and every day. I proudly parent with my wife in our two-mom team, with our goal to raise our boys to be amazing, kind and self-aware men when they grow up.
I work at Centennial College in Toronto, as the Chair of the Community Services Department, and I am passionate about supporting our students to be successful. My goal is that our graduates become leaders and change-makers, transforming communities and inspiring social change. I am passionate about learning and teaching, and I think daily about the incredible power of how education can transform lives.
I started this blog in May 2013, with the goal to write about my subject area of interest, which was at that time volunteerism, volunteer engagement, community development and the non-profit sector. Before Centennial College, I worked for more than 10 years in volunteer management and community development. I was grappling with many questions such as: What role do volunteers play in the sector, shaping/challenging culture, power and assumptions? How do community members and volunteers effectively engage with the non-profit sector in a way that is meaningful? How is volunteer retention measured and evaluated, and what are the critical factors involved?
Over the past two years, my interests have expanded, and my blog is a forum of writing and exploring ideas. I have decided not to restrict myself to a specific area of study, and to blur the lines between the personal and professional, being authentic in writing that reflects the diverse aspects of my life. I continue to write about volunteer and community engagement and the non-profit sector, but I also now write about my other passions: parenting, teaching and learning, space and place, creativity and creative expression, anti-oppression and expressions of power, and anything else that moves my spirit as I navigate life.
At the core, this blog is a place for me to explore and question ideas, make connections between ideas, and capture my journey of critical reflection and creative writing. As one of my favourite philosophers Socrates wrote: “The unexamined life is not worth living”.
I hope you enjoy reading my blog. I can be found on Twitter and LinkedIn, and I can be reached directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.