Jenna Redmond is a rare example of humility. Even in the midst of her bubbly personality and ‘never-met-a-stranger’ outlook, she seems to shy away from the spotlight. The Christian Ministries major from Lynden, Wash, who will be walking with Northwest Nazarene University’s class of 2010 in commencement on May 8, tells her story as if everyone lives with the same passion and drive that she does. That’s what makes her so special.
As she looks back on her college career and contemplates both the near and distant future, she has a nonchalant attitude, even though she has made a lasting impact on those close and far. Jenna’s is not a story that will ever be made into a movie, but she has a certain presence about her; one that exudes a love for people, and it is this compassion that speaks volumes about her.
“I don’t know what lies ahead, but I want to serve my Creator by advocating for oppressed people,” she says with a certainty that makes one want to join her.
Her life thus far has been one filled with helping people. Her first two years of college were, in her words, very typical.
“I was super involved,” she says with her trademark humility and instant smile.
She has participated in nearly every facet of campus life during her time at NNU, but it was what happened when she spent time away from the university that was most impacting. During her junior year, in order to fulfill a multicultural requirement, Jenna traveled to Switzerland to study at European Nazarene University.
“My time abroad is what really gave shape to who I am today.”
Even though studying abroad had been a lifelong dream of Jenna’s, it took some cajoling from her professors and friends.
“I had reached the peak of my social life my sophomore year,” she remembers, “and I just didn’t want to leave it.”
During her time in Switzerland, Jenna was able to interact with people of different backgrounds and cultures. It was, in her words, paradigm shifting. Work, though, remained to be done back home.
During the middle of her sophomore year, Dr. Mike Kipp, professor of youth and family ministries, recommended Jenna for the position of youth intern at Nampa’s College Church of the Nazarene. Now about to enter her third year working at College Church, Jenna has influenced countless young lives.
For the next year, Jenna will be on staff at College Church as the youth ministry resident, during which time she will continue to learn first-hand how a successful youth ministry is run and organized. She will also begin to study toward her master’s of divinity at Nazarene Theological Seminary, which will further prepare her for ministry while continuing to help people now.
Jenna looks toward her forward with optimism. Her passion won’t let her do otherwise.