Essence Jennings-Ward

Essence is strong. Essence is a warrior. She is proof that your past does not dictate your future.


Nominated By Dr. Mike Lamphere

“Essence is truly a comeback story. This young woman has endured hardship upon hardship and yet she continues to fight. Essence refuses to be a victim and chooses her own future. When Essence first came to us, she was a timid young lady. She barely spoke and yet with the help of Taniesha (auntie), we were able to cultivate the amazing and powerful young woman that you will meet. I don’t know many 16 year old juniors that are off of the high school campus and making grades down at the community college, but Essence is one. Essence is strong. Essence is a warrior. She is proof that your past does not dictate your future. I know she will go do great things.

My Black Colorado Interview

What school do you attend and what year are you in?

Odyssey High School, the junior year finished the first semester at Pike Peak Community College

What do you think others would say they like the most about you and why?

That I stay true to my feelings. If I’m upset with someone there is no swaying my opinion and if I’m true to someone I will hear others out but my feelings won’t change.

When you are not in a class, what are the things you enjoy being involved with?  Why?

I like watching Criminal minds and researching serial killers like seeing what they did, how much time they got, and what their childhood was like to get them there.

What is the best advice someone has given you recently?

“It is what it is” in the sense, there isn’t anything I can do about the past and everything happens for a reason but I decide what happens with my future and I can change that.

What is one thing you want to get better at?

I want to get better at letting go of situations that are weighing on me but don’t do anything for me. Or letting people go that are holding me back from the future that I want for myself.

What is one piece of advice adults need to hear, to help them connect with the younger generation better?

Times now are nothing like times when they were younger. It is better to ask than assume.

What accomplishments or awards are you most proud of and why?

Second semester of sophomore year, I got honor roll.

What impact have you made in the community that you are most proud of and why?

When I volunteered at care and share packaging food for people that needed it. I’m most proud of that one because tears earlier I was eating that same food and I felt honored to be able to give back.

What do you think you want to do for a career and why?

I want to be a Forensic Psychologist because I find it interesting not only to understand how people think in general but to look at the ways criminals’ minds work when they were committing a crime and what could have lead to the outcome.

What role did your family play in where you are today? 

My biological mom wasn’t around when I was younger but my dad, grandma, cousin, aunt, and many chosen family members helped me to never give up and always convicted me that I could be better and I could do whatever I wanted in life.

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