What is your background?
Jaclyn Collins: I am proud to say that I have created a life where I get to be of service every single day. As the Account Director for Imagemakers, I have the honor of serving our clients and team and now as the Founder of Schools for Girls, I am so thankful to work with inspiring women and girls around the world.
On a day to day basis, I’m committed to being the best version of myself and helping others love their best selves too. Transforming the lives of women, girls and others around me has taken me on the most incredible journey. I get to be loved and give love and that feels absolutely incredible.
I was born and and raised in Massachusetts, attended Texas Christian University in Fort Worth, Texas, have lived in Kansas and now reside in Denver, Colorado.
You are the Director of Client Services at Imagemakers, a custom website development company. Can you tell us about some of your experiences with Imagemakers?
Jaclyn Collins: Imagemakers is a custom website development company that creates purposeful website strategies for businesses. As the Account Director, I’ve truly enjoyed learning about new industries and providing solutions to help organizations be successful. I’ve been able to travel with our team to Washington D.C. and also utilize our “Culture Shock” benefit to travel to Gulu, Uganda.
Moreover, you also founded Schools for Girls, a newly launched nonprofit with the global mission of providing educational opportunities to the 130 million girls worldwide without an education. What inspired you to found Schools for Girls and what are the organization’s key goals and programs?
Jaclyn Collins: With over 130 million girls out of school around the world, I had to do something. When visiting Uganda, I saw so many young girls who were out of school and they were often caring for young infants too. So then, I began doing research and I realized that this is an issue not only happening in Uganda, but all around the world.
I realized that there are millions of girls in the world with so much potential, yet so little access to education due to the barriers and stigmas that exist. And yet, the community impact of girls being educated is immense. I thought to myself, if someone were to care for these children, partner with the communities where they live, provide sustainable resources, and help their voices be heard, the inequalities to accessing quality education could be resolved.
With lots of love, tons of action, and an unstoppable drive to create a kinder world, I can now say that Schools for Girls is helping girls go to school, one community at a time. As a woman myself, I was so fortunate to have strong role models around me as a young adult who believed in me and showed me what opportunities are out there and how to accomplish them. I want every girl to know that they have someone who believes in them, who loves them and who is standing for their greatness in the world.
You have also volunteered with Heifer International, Invisible Children, Oxfam America, and Medical Missions Foundation. Can you share some of your experiences with these volunteering initiatives, and of your most valuable takeaways?
Jaclyn Collins: I have truly enjoyed volunteering with each of these organizations. However, I would have to say that my experience with Oxfam America was absolutely profound. While in college, I took a class on homelessness and poverty and became aware of Oxfam’s program called the CHANGE Initiative. The program selects college students from all around the world who are currently going to school in the U.S. I had the honor of joining the program and then returning as a facilitator. What I loved about my training was that I had access to experts in the field who are fighting to end poverty every single day. They provided us with the tools to raise awareness about critical issues on college campuses and in our communities. Now, running Schools for Girls, I use the skills learned from the CHANGE Initiative program on a regular basis.
Going forward, what are some key trends, challenges and opportunities you see in the sphere of digital marketing?
Jaclyn Collins: I see digital marketing continuing to be a way for companies and consumers to be more connected than ever before. With so many forms of live broadcasting and video marketing, I foresee an increased use of social tools like Facebook Live and Snapchat. We’re currently living in a time where there is so much noise and distraction, yet ample opportunity to connect with people both near and abroad.
On a personal level, why does women’s empowerment matter to you?
Jaclyn Collins: Personally, women’s empowerment is important to me because it symbolizes something greater than myself. When a woman is empowered it has a profound impact on her family and even her community. When I was in grade school, I actively studied Gloria Steinem and Betty Friedan so at a very young age I realized the importance of a woman’s power and the versatile roles she can hold in society.
Can you talk about one woman who has impacted your life?
Jaclyn Collins: My mother is one woman who has definitely impacted my life. She is someone who taught me to reach for my dreams and that no dream was ever too big. I’ve always admired her sense of adventure, resourcefulness and positivity. She’s taught me to create the life I want to live and to do what I love to do. And, I have to say I have her to thank for my love for traveling. We’ve traveled to Israel, Turkey, Greece, and Italy together so I now have a deep appreciation for experiencing new cultures.
What are your favorite books, websites, films and resources about education and women’s issues?
Jaclyn Collins: I love learning so I’m constantly reading up and listening to new podcasts. One of my favorite books is The Success Principles by Jack Canfield. Although it is not specific to education and women’s issues, it’s a book I think everyone should read. And in relation to women and girls specifically, I highly recommend the documentary, A Path Appears, as I really admire the work of Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn. As for podcasts/youtube channels to check out, I recommend: The School of Greatness Podcast, The Tim Ferriss Show, and MarieTV.