Agent of Change Spotlight: Elizabeth Jenkins

Over Directions For Our Youth’s nearly 30-year history, creating Agents of Change has been at the root of our mission and our work in the community. Our participants know that the true measure of success lies not only in doing for one’s self, but also doing for those in their local communities and around the world. Agents of Change exist throughout the DFOY community and are huge part of what makes DFOY unique. We want to share these personalities, stories, and change agents who make up DFOY’s “secret sauce” with the entire DFOY family. For our inaugural agency-wide Agent of Change, no one represents the DFOY’s commitment to Homegrown Community Investment more than Elizabeth Jenkins.

Born and raised in the Bronx, Elizabeth has been with DFOY for over 16 years and has held a variety of positions that have increased her responsibilities along with her footprint on the organization. When Elizabeth joined DFOY in 2003 as an Assistant Director in Claremont, she had already been working in the non-profit sector for several years. At the time, her goal was to pursue a career in social work. However, at DFOY, Elizabeth realized she could make a difference for her neighbors and the Bronx community. Now, over 16 years later, Elizabeth still keeps in touch with former participants from program sites where she worked, and her relationships are just a small part of Elizabeth’s lasting impact here at DFOY.

In her current role as Director of Operations, Elizabeth manages finance, agency compliance, human resources, and procurement. Or as Elizabeth likes to say, she wears many hats! While her current role does not have her working at program sites, Elizabeth stills accepts any invitation she gets to program events. Recently, participants at P.S. 72 put on a production of The Lion King, which Elizabeth said was one of her more memorable moments. Elizabeth shared: “I love all DFOY shows because our staff invests in the production! They spend a lot of time and energy working with kids to make the shows great. For me, The Lion King really stood out because of the costumes and the strength of the performance – I got a little emotional.”

When asked to describe DFOY, Elizabeth shared: “DFOY gives participants the opportunity to get the most out of their life, opening many doors for them.” During her tenure, Elizabeth has done just that: opened doors for our families, our staff, and the future of DFOY. We congratulate Elizabeth, our inaugural Agent of Change, and we are grateful for her years of dedication to the DFOY mission and guiding principles.

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