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New Policy Research Associate Joins Voices for Children

May Graduation 2014

My name is Jenna Sutton, and I just became the new Policy and Research Associate at Voices for Children in Nebraska through Lutheran Volunteer Corps. This past May, I graduated from a liberal arts college in Michigan called Hope College with a Bachelor’s degree in both Psychology and Chemistry. I also studied Spanish and spent a month in Spain, living with a host family, learning about the culture, and of course, constantly speaking the language.

I moved to Omaha from Suttons Bay, MI, a small town in Northern Michigan (right between the pinky and the ring finger if you need a visual). The past three summers, I hiked trails all along the Sleeping Bear Dune National Lakeshore (rightly voted the most beautiful place in America), kayaked across the lake, had bonfires on the beach, biked or ran up and down the TART trail, and dared to swim in the crystal blue, still-cold-in-July, Lake Michigan water. I prefer to spend much of my free time outdoors, and I’m really going to miss having Lake Michigan so close.

Sunrise in Suttons Bay From My Window

However, I haven’t always been so lucky as to live in Suttons Bay. I was born in Ohio, grew up in upstate New York as well as a city in the middle of Michigan, and lived in a couple of suburbs of Detroit before moving up north after my second year of college. While it wasn’t my choice to move so often, I appreciate the fact that those experiences have made me a very adaptable and open-minded individual. It definitely helps make moving halfway across the country for a year, away from friends, family, and anything familiar, just a bit easier!

A Younger Me Performing at Competition

In addition to loving the outdoors, I enjoy film photography, I am a coffee addict, guitarist, former competitive figure skater, closet writer, an avid learner and reader, and I am passionate about social justice. This year, I am really looking forward to learning ways that I can be a voice and advocate for children in a number of different areas including economic stability, education, health, and safety. My placement with Voices for Children in Nebraska is the perfect way to blend my passion for social justice and my love of reading and research.

One of my goals for after my year at Voices is to go back to school to get a higher degree in a psychology-related field. At the top of my list of potential fields is forensic psychology. As I get to learn more about how the legislative system, policy-making, and child advocacy works in Nebraska, I’m hoping that I can decide if law/advocacy is something I want to continue learning about and possibly tie into a lifelong career.

Thank you to taking the time to share!


  1. REPLY
    Judy Minar says

    Sending hugs from that little town in the middle of the mitten!

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