Meet Our New Executive Director: Tabitha Jensen!

Tabitha-Head-Shot
Teen Feed’s Board and staff is excited to welcome
our new  Executive Director, Tabitha Jensen!

Tabitha brings with her over 15+ years of experience in social service program management, advocacy, administration and social justice work to offer, build, and ally in support of young people at Teen Feed. Tabitha holds a BA and MBA from Marylhurst University and has attended post-graduate executive education programs at Stanford University Graduate School of Business and Harvard Business School. In addition to her extensive education and experience, Tabitha’s compassion, humor, positivity and steadfast belief in our youth makes her an ideal leader for Teen Feed. We sat down with Tabitha to ask her some get-to-know you questions:

Where did you grow up?
I grew up in a suburban town outside of Milwaukee, Wisconsin before moving to the Portland area at 13.  After spending my twenties in Portland, I moved to Seattle in 2006. Every so often you’ll hear my mid-western accent!

What is your favorite book?
In general, I enjoy non-fiction books on leadership theory and graphic novels. “Pedagogy of the Oppressed” by Paulo Freire has been a major influence in my academic and professional life. Freire’s writing resonates with me on so many levels, most specifically in the realm of social justice and education.

Do you have any pets?
I am an enthusiastic dog person! I have a chubby Corgi named George Darling who I mostly call Corgi, and a Boston Terrier/Pug mix named Bug. They are absolutely adorable and make me laugh every day.

If you were to take a picnic, where would you go?
I would venture to one of the park benches on the Burke-Gilman trail and go to the Metropolitan Market nearby for delicious Marcona almonds and rope string cheese from Wisconsin – two of my favorite treats. I would picnic with my partner, and if I could, I would bring my dogs George and Bug along for the fun.

What do you do in your free time?
I love watching documentaries. One of my all-time favorites is Crumb, about cartoonist R. Crumb. At first you think it’s about his art, but it reveals so much more about the human condition. I also love riding my bike – I don’t consider myself to be a very athletic person, but cycling makes me feels strong in mind and body. I’m doing the Seattle to Portland ride for the second time this year!

Which of TF’s Core Values resonates with you the most?
The fact that we are all equal and the paths we take can easily change the course of our lives. My life has had some interesting twists and turns.  When I consider the many circumstances that are both in and out of our control, I understand how any of us could be in a position of needing help to gain stability at some point in our lives. Many of us are fortunate to have a support system to help us through challenges. Teen Feed is that support system for so many youth in our community.

What about TF excites you the most?
I am most excited about the potential for the youth we serve, our programs, and the staff that lead them. TF has amazing programs, so I am excited to build on the strengths of our success in creating connections and support for youth. I look forward to seeing where we can go!

What is your favorite meal?
My favorite meal is a sunset dinner at Mama’s Fish House in Maui. I have to say on my first night at the Teen Feed meal, I had some seriously delicious home-made macaroni and cheese. Mama’s Fish House might have some competition!

Tabitha will be connecting with our community in the Teen Feed’s meal program, meetings and events. In the meantime, she would love to hear from you! Please send Tabitha a welcome message at tabitha@teenfeed.org.