Q&A with Davante Jennings

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Davante Jennings 2016-2017 Currently works at: Steve’s Camp at Horizon Farms


What one piece of advice would you offer to current Fellows?

It’s okay to take a break and reward yourself every now and then. You should go to the concert, be adventurous and take the weekend trip to Boston (or Miami), and it’s okay to buy that French Press because you’ll save that money you spend at Starbucks every morning anyway. You just finished four probably emotionally and academically taxing years, probably transitioned to a new city with new living accommodations, and now part of this amazing Fellowship opportunity with high expectations for its Fellows and alum. Be kind to yourself.

What’s the most interesting thing you’ve recently read or seen?

The sun and her flowers [sic] is the most gratifying piece I’ve ever read. Rupi Kaur speaks of pain, deceit, and betrayal, but offers healing in the most meaningful ways.

Also, “Just as water purifies the body, tears purify the soul.” More important than these words is the response that a number of students I work with had to this quotation. I shared it with them in passing, but they’ve really seem to hold onto it.

How do you recharge yourself?

Believe it or not, I have a puppy named Sana. She is always there when I need her, and there even when I don’t need to take a break, but do anyway to play fetch. I also really enjoy live music so I go to concerts fairly regularly and check out music stores for the new arrival vinyls and CDs.

Are there any unwritten rules where you work?  If so, what are they?

I think in any youth development setting being dynamic is important. We have youth that return to camp year after year, and some who engage during the year as well as the summer, so to keep their attention and our legitimacy, always being up to date is so important. Everything from the curriculum we are delivering, to what’s happening in the news (because they’ll have questions!), to the newest lingo that NYC comes up with.

If you were given a one-minute ad slot during the Super Bowl that you couldn’t sell, what would you fill it with?

During a recent visit to Houston, I came across a coffee shop that aimed to inform the public of human trafficking and philanthropically find ways of ending such violations of human rights. I really liked that instead of taking the this is a worldwide or foreign country issue, they were careful to address Houston’s relationship with human trafficking and highlighting other organizations in the city working to end human trafficking. I think I’d like giving them that opportunity and spotlight to bring awareness.
Or, I’d give it to Represent.US, an organization working to remove money from politics and get back to the heart of democracy: representing those who elected them.

What is something you recently realized that you can’t believe you had not realized earlier/sooner?

You can rent a bike for $5 (not Citibike) all day! It’s such a nice way to explore Central Park and the rest of the City.