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. 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. As the project grew, conversations began about family needs beyond the holiday season. The need for an official organization became clear and in June 2016 9United was established as a formal non-profit.
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 to serve where they live, learn, work and play through student-led projects without any barrier to entry; no 9United project limits participation based on social, economic, or academic abilities.
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.
Jen Schlosser began serving the Forest Hills School District as a 5th grade teacher at Summit Elementary in 1994. When her daughter was born, 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. She has served in a variety of roles within the district and 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 a daughter and son, both Turpin graduates.