By Angela Higginbotham
Wise far beyond her years, 16-year-old Jenna Harrington is a Mandarin High School junior who has lived in the Jacksonville area her entire life. Passionate about cancer research and giving back to others, Harrington sets a strong, positive example for children and young adults. Harrington has been an active volunteer with Relay for Life for the past 12 years. During this time, Harrington and her teams have raised $100,000 for cancer research and patient services.
She is a member of the National Honor Society and is in the top 5 percent of her class at Mandarin High School. Harrington lives in Mandarin with her mom, Jennifer, her twin brothers and her cousins.
- What do you enjoy most about living in Mandarin?
I like that it’s a big city, but you can still run into people you know everywhere you go. It’s like a small town inside of a bigger city.
- What or who inspired you to become involved with Relay for Life?
My uncle passed away in 2007 and I joined a team in honor of him. We also just lost my dad in November to lung cancer, so there’s even more motivation now for myself and my family to stay involved. We usually have about 20 family members and friends on our team.
- What do you enjoy doing outside of your volunteer work?
I’ve been active with PedsCare advisory board. PedsCare is a program for children with life limiting and life threatening conditions. I like to plan events and hang out with the kids there.
I enjoy tennis, going to the beach, and spending time with my friends. I’m also a shopaholic.
- What are your plans after high school graduation?
I would like to attend the University of Georgia. We took some tours and I just fell in love with UGA. I want to study communications and event planning. Planning fundraisers and meetings for Relay for Life has shown me my passion for working with people and organizations to plan events.
- If you could spend the day with anyone, who would it be and why?
I would spend another day with my dad. It’s been hard to live without him, so seeing him again would be a dream come true.
Photo courtesy Jenna Harrington