Our hearts are heavy, filled with sadness & sorrow for the loss of NHY family member, Ms. Marilyn Jenkins. She made an immeasurable difference in the lives of countless children, and she will be greatly missed. Our thoughts and prayers are with her friends and family during this difficult time.
Marilyn Jenkins was born in Montgomery, AL where her voyage began. Due to her mother’s illness she began taking care of her eleven younger brothers and sisters at the early age of ten years old. In 1963 Ms. Jenkins relocated to Las Vegas, NV. Knowing that she wanted to care for others, Ms. Jenkins became a volunteer at Child Haven, and after only six months, she was hired as a full-time employee, where she remained for the next 13 years. In 1980, the mother of two, took a leave of absence to return to Alabama and care for her ailing mother, but eventually returned to Las Vegas to continue pursuing her career in human services.
When Ms. Jenkins returned she became a volunteer at St. Jude’s Ranch for four months, and was later hired. While at St. Jude’s, she served as a Foster Parent to six children until they left the Nevada social service system. To this day, Ms. Jenkins remains in contact with all of them, serving as a “grandparent” to their children. While working at St. Jude’s Ranch, Ms. Jenkins met a counselor at Children’s Behavioral Services who encouraged her to pursue a career opportunity with the State of Nevada working with severely emotionally disturbed children. She took the challenge, was hired, and later promoted to Supervisor of the Family Treatment Center. As Supervisor, she facilitated the process for youth and families transitioning back into their homes. Ms. Jenkins has also worked with girls in the juvenile justice system at Pulidor Foundation and the Courtney Foundation, which provides programs for pregnant teens.
Throughout her career, Ms. Jenkins has worked as an advocate for the mentally ill, the homeless, and group homes for various populations. Ms. Jenkins also ran a group home out of her own residence for various populations. She always wanted to do as much as she could do to help others, remaining active in the Las Vegas community.