Growing up in the Piney Woods of Hattiesburg, Mississippi, Jeanne spent hours watching the frogs and crawdads in the meandering creek behind her family’s home. To this day, sounds of cicada take her back to her joyful childhood -- when her dad raised honeybees and her mom sold collard greens grown in their garden to the local grocery store. “I feel I’m from the last generation of kids who grew up outdoors -- I lived outdoors.”
With almost two decades of experience in education and conservation, Jeanne joined REAL School Gardens in October 2007, to lead its national expansion. Prior to joining REAL School Gardens, Jeanne spent eight years as vice president and director of the Jane Goodall Institute’s Roots & Shoots program, a global youth service program focused on conservation. In this position, she helped fulfill Dr. Jane Goodall’s dream of creating a powerful force for positive change: a network of young people in communities all around the world empowered to make a difference. Her interest in service-learning began while she was director of Undergraduate Programs for the Department of African American Studies at the University of Maryland.
Jeanne continues to be active in several national and international initiatives to connect children and families to nature and to promote youth leadership in conservation. She currently serves as member of a governor-appointed committee, the Texas Partnership for Children in Nature, and is an Advisory Board Member to the Botanical Research Institute of Texas' Teacher Learning Center. She has delivered presentations throughout the United States as well as in Tanzania, Russia, Singapore, Malaysia and South Africa. Jeanne is also a contributing author to The Earth Is Our Home: Children Caring for the Environment.
Jeanne holds an M.A. in American Studies from the University of Maryland and a B.A. in American Studies, Summa Cum Laude, from the University of Southern Mississippi.
Photo Credit: Star-Telegram / Tom Pennington