Each month, a Johnson Service Corps Member will introduce themselves to you in their own words. For February, we invite you to meet Jeni!
Hello! My name is Jenitza Pierce, but most people just call me Jeni. I already consider myself a North Carolinian although I moved here from Texas a mere year and a half ago. Living in North Carolina has changed my perspective of how where we live impacts who we are, and more importantly, how we grow. NC is teeming with all sorts of wildlife and sprinkled with cities that reflect diverse cultures, activities, and needs. Exploring and embracing all that NC has to offer has unlocked my inner trail adventurer, eclectic music observer, and social justice warrior, and I’m enjoying every moment of learning more about my community and myself. I live in Durham with three other Corps Members, and my favorite house activities are making unique pizzas together and drinking tea!
My spiritual home in NC is Triangle Church of Christ, which has been a community of discipleship and love for me since I moved here in August of 2016. My favorite part of being in this community is going to family group, which has been a great way to bond and learn from many who are in different stages of life and faith. My own spiritual practices include reading and writing, but my favorite practice for centering myself in the present moment is to sip on a hot cup of tea and think about nothing but the heat and flavors at the tip of my tongue!
I am a second-year CM, having served last year at the Robert and Pearl. Seymour Center. My partner organization for this year is Book Harvest, a non-profit passionately dedicated to promoting children’s lifelong literacy and academic success by eliminating barriers to book ownership by empowering the community to make a difference.
As a community partnerships coordinator, I serve more than 25 organizations and schools that partner with us by distributing our stock of community donated books to them. I also get to collaborate with schools and the Durham Housing Authority to personally hand books to kids and engage with children and families! Our greatest material resource is books, but the unity of the community in the mission to create book-rich environments is the secret sauce that brings everything together. Our largest book drive of the year, The Dream Big Book Drive that takes place on MLK day each year, has brought in more than 30,000 books so far– And we’re still counting! My absolute favorite thing about partnering with Book Harvest is being a part of empowering others through service.
So far, it has been a challenging, but promising, year. I hope to finish stronger and wiser than I began!