Interviews Social Good

Jenneh Corkern Is A Liberian Girl With An Inspiring Story, Learn About Her Clean Water Fundraiser

 Jenneh Corkern is a 17-year-old Liberian girl living in Seattle, Washington, and she’s on a mission to create positive change in the world. For years Jenneh lived in an orphanage in Liberia until she was adopted in 2005 at the age of 7. Today, she is part of a large, loving family made up of 5 brothers and 8 sisters; most of them adopted from Ethiopia, Liberia, India, Thailand, and Seattle.

While living in the orphanage, Jenneh and others would sometimes drink unclean, parasite-laden water due to insufficient access to safe water sources. She experiences ongoing health problems due to the water and must follow a strict diet. This experience led her to advocate for clean water access for underprivileged populations around the world.

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Jenneh as a child living in an orphanage

In 2014, Jenneh attended Teens Take Action , a year-long Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation program that empowers the next generation of change makers and equips them with the tools to make a difference. High-school students learn about volunteering, advocacy, and fundraising while creating and implementing their own action plans.

At the program she met Grace Clipson, and together they raise funds via bake sales and bring awareness to  global water issues through school presentations.

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“The organization I’m raising money for is called Water1st. They run clean water sources to people’s houses. They work in Ethiopia, Honduras, Bangladesh and India. [People who’d like to contribute to fundraising] can come talk to me about buying cookies that I bake or they can contact Water1st.” she says.

Jenneh discusses her time at the orphanage, “I remember that everyone was kind to each other, we played along very well. I only remember that because I have a video of me when I was in Liberia. The house moms treated us with respect. We would play outside everyday because it was always a nice day. There was a big yard for us to play any sport.”

Jenneh is sweet girl with a big smile who likes to read in her free time and get lost in a good book.

She has a message of hope for kids in orphanages, “Don’t ever worry that no one’s going to adopt you. Just remember that there is a loving family out there that’s working hard to find a child to care for and guess what? It’s you they’re looking for.”

The orphanage she once called home has closed. Jenneh would like to see the orphanage reopened, “I want kids to have a roof over their heads and a loving family like I have and maybe make a change in the world, like I want to.”

After college, she hopes to return to Liberia to build wells. This bright and ambitious soul represents the future of Liberia. We are very proud of Jenneh and look forward to her future endeavors!

Follow Jenneh social on social media: Twitter

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