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Benjamin Jenkins

Changemaker

BENJAMIN’S STORY

Everyone deserves equal rights.

Everyone also deserves a safe and welcome environment. Benjamin Jenkins works to achieve both at University of Michigan-Dearborn.

That’s why, this year, he’s a “Difference Maker.”

“Being a ‘Difference Maker’ means not only working hard to create change, but having the leadership skills to inspire others to work hard to create change as well,” Benjamin said.

Benjamin helps create change through his involvement in UM-Dearborn’s Gender and Sexuality Alliance. It took only two meetings for the UM-Dearborn senior to assume the role of co-president. There, he organized panel discussions and HIV testing clinics on campus.

“Through facilitating weekly discussions, delegating tasks to members and requesting ample feedback, I have learned the essential qualities and skills necessary to lead,” he said.

Benjamin has ties to several other student organizations, including the Political Science Association, Association of Student Anthropologists and College Democrats.

Aside from his “Difference Maker” nomination, UM-Dearborn has honored Benjamin for his passion for higher education and student life with Leadership Synergy and Emerging Leader awards.

He soon plans to pursue a doctoral degree in history, in hopes of becoming a college professor.

“It is important to me that I remain in Michigan and continue to make a positive impact on the state, both educationally, politically and otherwise,” he said.

And Benjamin’s hard work certainly doesn’t go unnoticed.

“Benjamin Jenkins is a highly engaged campus and community activist, as well as a seriously smart student, who is one of the most visible and influential students on our campus,” said Pamela Pennock, associate professor of history. “Benjamin is one of those rare students who employs his commitment to his ideals and his intellectual development to identify and solve real problems, and thereby meaningfully improve students’ lives, as well as enhance the overall sense of community and justice on this campus and beyond.”