Jenny Wellinger: Helping kids
Jenny Wellinger was born in Cedar Rapids, Iowa but became a California girl by the age of two.
She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Social Psychology and worked in education for 30 years. She worked with the deaf and hard of hearing for over 20 years before changing to regular education. She taught middle school language arts and drama the last five years before retiring from Barstow Unified School District.
Wellinger was married for 36 years and raised both her children in Barstow. She has four grandchildren all of which live within 15 miles of Barstow.
Q: Describe a special memory you have in the High Desert.
A: Big family Christmas dinners outside at a picnic table because the weather was so beautiful!
Q: What do you do in your free time?
Q: Tell us one thing that most people don’t know about you.
A: That I am actually extremely shy.
Q: If you could change one thing about the world, what would it be?
A: That people would look for the good in every situation.
Q: If you could change one thing about the High Desert, what would it be?
A: That others would appreciate the beauty the desert holds within its boundaries.
Q: What person, living or from history, would you most like to have dinner with and why?
A: Ellen DeGeneres, because she finds the humor in everything she does.
Q: Who is someone who had a big influence on your life?
A: My father because he lived life to the fullest and enjoyed every moment.
Q: What talent do you most wish you had?
A: I wish I could sing.
Q: What is your favorite quotation?
A: Learn from yesterday,
Live for today,
Hope for tomorrow.
The important thing is to never stop questioning. --- Albert Einstein
Q: What words of advice do you have for the next generation?
A: Remember that your words and actions effect more than yourself.
Q: Tell us about the charities or causes that are close to your heart and why.
A: The American Cancer Society, because I lost my husband to cancer, as well as many close friends. And the Boys and Girls Club because it gives the kids of our community a place to find comfort after school when they might otherwise go home to empty house.
Q: What is something you are particularly proud of?
A: My work with kids and for kids. Both in the area of education and with the creation of Child’s Play Productions with my co-founder and friend, Jackie Nelson. I love the fact that I work with amazingly talented actors every day, who give their time freely to present high quality theater performances. They do this with no benefits to themselves, just knowing that they are doing what they love to do and that all proceeds go back into the community.
Q: What’s your favorite movie and why?
A: This is a difficult one … there are a few. A little known sleeper called, “The Ultimate Gift” because it is a story of the journeys we take in life and the people we meet along the way. And how everything we do can make a difference. “Crash” which shows how our lives are all intertwined. And “Steel Magnolias” in which we are shown the importance of friendships in our lives. That friendships may have its ups and downs, but strength in adversity comes from those bonds.
Q: Tell us about your favorite thing about living in the High Desert?
A: The weather and clear skies.
Q: What is the best thing about your job?
A: Being a positive influence in a child’s life.
Q: What book had a significant impact on you?
A: The Secret.
Q: Of all the places you’ve been, what’s your favorite and why?
A: The Grand Canyon. It is a reminder of the amazing things God is capable of.
Q: If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would it be and why?
A: Ireland and Scotland. It is where my family comes from.
Q: Tell us about one thing you want to accomplish in life.
A: To never stop learning what the world has to teach me. Especially the kids. In my classroom, I always believed that I learn as much every day from my students as they do from me… if I am willing to watch and listen.
Q: Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
A: Again, probably very cliché, but right where I am today.
Q: What’s your favorite guilty pleasure?
A: A bottle of Coke!