Jackie was nominated by Belinda Motzkin Brauer and Jordana Barness.
After Jackie’s “Mum” died in 2014 from ovarian cancer, she chose to utilize her passion for the arts to channel her grief. Jackie’s personal grief journey has transcended into the lives of her students. Jackie, the art teacher at Eastpointe High School, works with youth ages 14 - 22, who have a diverse range of needs and expectations, many of whom have experienced loss, including significant and often traumatic death loss. Jackie creates a supportive, non-judgmental, and safe place for her students to process their grief through open conversation as well as through art. Jackie’s unique approach through her creative lens allows these youth to share freely and deeply their innermost pain.
Jackie gives her time and talents far beyond her classroom. She volunteers for cancer organizations, hospices and seizes every opportunity to help others through speaking engagements and workshops. Jackie involves her students, empowering them to help others create beauty from their pain. Jackie works tirelessly to normalize the avoided topic of death and dying and incorporate loss into daily living.
She has also written and illustrated two books, “Grief is a Mess” and “Making It Through Chemotherapy.” If you know someone who spreads kindness within the Greater Tucson or Phoenix community, nominate them for a Ben's Bell! [bensbells.org]