Jenna Nicholas, Managing Partner at Impact Experience and MBA Student at @stanfordbusiness
"Beginning when I was 7 or 8 years old, I used to visit the home of Lillian Carpenter, the wife of the dean of Westminster Abbey. She was in her eighties at the time. I remember her always dressed in purple, and she exuded a combination of strength and grace that was very powerful. I would go over to her house and she would teach me how to paint and how to recite poetry, but it really felt like she was, in a way, teaching me how to be a human being."
"The biggest idea she shared that stayed with me was that faith is a north star, and how we translate our faith into action is one of the most important things in our lives. She believed deeply in the equality of men and women, the intersection of science and religion, and the importance of independent investigation of truth. For her, these principles all came back to the idea of the north star of faith. Throughout her life, Lillian had been ill a number of times, always followed by miraculous experiences of healing. She always said, in these times, that she was not ready to die yet. Then, several years later, she mentioned that she had a few months to live. She gathered her friends and family, and shared her final advice with each of them. Almost to the day she indicated, she passed away at the age of 92.”
Born in NYC to parents from the UK and Iran, Jenna grew up in London before returning to the U.S. for college at Stanford. A graduate-level course she took as a freshman introduced her to the field of investing for social good. Following graduation, she co-founded Phoenix Global Impact, a firm that specializes in impact investing, social entrepreneurship and strategic philanthropy. Currently, Jenna serves as Managing Partner at Impact Experience, which brings together investors, philanthropists, innovators, and leaders of marginalized communities. Recent learning journeys have helped retrain former West Virginia coal miners, promoted funding opportunities for minority and female-run businesses, and tackled health disparities. Jenna draws much of her inspiration from the teachings of the Baha'i Faith.
For more on Jenna's work, visit: www.impact-experience.com
Photograph of Jenna (age 10) with Lillian