2018 Winner: Jennifer Burkett
Jennifer Burkett has been working and volunteering with the aging population in various capacities in Santa Clara County, California for over 15 years. She has worked as a geriatric case manager for multiple community service agencies, a Long-Term Care Ombudsman for Santa Clara County, a care advocate for an elder law firm, and is currently working as a Deputy Public Guardian-Conservator for Santa Clara County. Ms. Burkett also volunteers as a member of the Elder Abuse Task Force of Santa Clara County on behalf of which she attends community events to educate the public about elder abuse and advocates for legislation that will protect vulnerable older adults. On a personal level, she has provided care for both her maternal and paternal grandparents, which she considers to be the inspiration behind her love of working with aging adults. She is currently working on a Masters in Social Work at San Jose State University so she can gain more knowledge about social policy to further her ability to advocate for the aging population.
Reaction: I am thrilled to be selected as the recipient of the 2018 Domnick Cunningham & Whalen Elder Abuse Prevention Scholarship. It will greatly help me pursue my goal of working towards elder justice in my community. I hope my essay also inspires others to advocate for legislation that protects older adults in their communities as well. Raising awareness about elder abuse and advocating for legislation that protects older adults from abuse is an issue that I care greatly about so it is an honor to be acknowledged by Domnick Cunningham & Whalen, a firm that shares my passion for protecting the rights of our aging population.