Jenna Zucker (IAC 15; IAA 15-17; IAC St 17-18, 20-22) studied creative writing at Interlochen Arts Academy and Interlochen Arts Camp. They currently serve on the Engagement Council and volunteer on the ground in New York City whenever possible.
Briefly describe your current job and career/education path.
I am a young alum! I graduated from Barnard College with a major in Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies where I wrote a gender studies thesis that incorporated creative writing. I’m currently working at the Medicare Rights Center helping folks with disabilities and older adults access Medicare and Medicaid benefits. Outside of work, I enjoy Jewish activism in the city, writing, and learning about grief/death and dying memory work.
What’s your Interlochen story?
I started at Interlochen as a 3-week creative writing high school camper, begged to stay for the full 6 weeks, and came back for the Academy two weeks later as a junior in high school - I had never expected to move from my public high school in New Jersey! As a student I spent endless hours in The Writing House, so much so that I knew the security person assigned to lock up each night. I learned how to have fun in the Dennison Center playing volleyball.
Why do you give back to Interlochen today?
I love helping prospective students, current students, and alumni find their place at Interlochen. Interlochen gave me the gift of a chosen family and a sense of belonging, and I hope to be able to facilitate that experience for others.
What would you say to alumni who are thinking about ways to give back?
Giving back can look different for everyone! You can refer a young artist, volunteer at a prospective students event, call a donor, or attend a reunion or event in your city. You can pick what sounds best to you!
Why does art matter in our world today?
Art is especially important in our current moment of unrest amid an ongoing pandemic. Art helps us heal, process, grow, and learn. Art communicates meaning through mediums and language that cannot be captured otherwise. Art is survival. Art is creation and growth.
What advice would you give current or prospective Interlochen students?
You may feel pressure to FOYA (Focus on Your Art!) – and you should – but you just as importantly should carve out time for fun and enjoyment!