In 2007, Jen Schlosser was looking for a meaningful opportunity to have her family give to those who needed assistance over the holidays. Seeing a sign at Beech Acres to adopt a family, Jen decided it would be the perfect project for them and in seeing how impactful it was for her family, reached out to friends the following year to see if they wanted to adopt a family and in 2008 Jen's family and friends adopted 12 families. With a daughter in 6th grade and her son in 3rd, Jen took the "project" to Wilson Elementary and in 2009 they adopted almost 40 families, mostly through students bringing pennies, nickels, dimes and quarters from their savings or from doing jobs for family and neighbors. They gathered at Target with lists from Beech Acres in hand and shopped for families who might not otherwise have a holiday celebration. When her daughter entered Nagel Middle School in 2010, Jen was asked to bring what became known as "Shop & Share" to the families of Nagel. Also in 2010, a teacher at Summit Elementary approached Jen about bringing the project to Summit the following year. She replied that she simply needed a parent to coordinate. Amy Miller quickly said "yes" and a partnership for service, a passion that both Jen and Amy shared, was born. In 2014, Jen and Amy began to have conversations about crisis not just happening during the holidays and how to have sustainable resources for school counselors in Forest Hills all year long. When Ayer Elementary became involved in 2015, they, along with Nagel, Summit and Wilson families, provided more than $65,000 in gifts to school and Beech Acres families. The "leftovers" that year were divided among the counselors of the nine district schools for use throughout the year. The need for an official organization became clear and in June 2016 9United became official.
What was never meant to be much more than a few families helping those in need in their community has organically grown into an event that allows the students in our schools to learn what real service looks and sounds like. We want to give our children the opportunities to learn that there are so many ways they can give of themselves aside from financial resources. They each have time and unique talents that when harnessed can bring about impactful change in Anderson Township and the Village of Newtown. We want to give our children a chance to give back to a community that is so generous in their support of our schools before it is something they are required to do for school or church organizations. We want to implant a desire to be of service to others while they are young so that, as they grow, they will look each day for ways, big or small, that they can serve others. It has never taken more than a small group of committed citizens to bring about change; 9United is committed to providing those in our community with opportunities both to serve and to be served should they find themselves in needing a hand up. As a united community we know that we have the ability to impact many lives through opportunities to give and receive.
Jen Schlosser began serving the Forest Hills School District as a 5th grade teacher at Summit Elementary in 1994 where she taught until her daughter was born. At that time she made a career shift and began to work from home, as a mom, as well as an educational consultant for North East Foundation for Children – teaching both the Forest Hills School teachers and others across the country, the power and process of Responsive Classroom - a school-wide initiative that teaches children social skills through the academics. Her passion for this school district only grew as her children became school aged. When they began attending Wilson Elementary, Jen immediately became involved in all aspects of their “school life” and the Forest Hills community as a whole. Working in the buildings as a volunteer in a variety of roles, as well as sitting on numerous district-wide committees.
Currently serving as the Turpin High School PTO President and as a chairperson of Turpin's After-Prom, Jen has a heart for service and specifically in showing children that authentic service leadership is about more than only one’s ability to give financially. She loves to help students and families realize that they can be a part of meaningful change when working as a combined group with a common goal. She and her husband Brian have 2 children: a daughter who is a Turpin graduate, now attending The University of Kentucky, and a son who is a senior at Turpin.