Hello there, Internet world! My name is Jennifer and I am co-founder of Imprints Press. Last week you had a chance to learn about my fellow co-founder and incredible colleague, Lisa Mulka, so now it’s my turn to give you a glimpse into my life!
Lake Bosomtwe in the Asanti Region of Ghana.
Who I am
At the very heart of it, I am an explorer, a dreamer, an adventurer, and the type of person that gets excited at the thought of going to the airport with nothing but a passport (okay, and maybe a small bag) and buying the first available ticket to anywhere in the world.
I have a Master’s degree in African Studies and have been living in sub-Saharan Africa on and off for the last seven years. While in Africa, I did pretty much every type of work you can imagine—teaching, volunteering, community service, leading international trips, conducting thesis research, learning Akan/Twi in Ghana, etc.
By far the most important lesson I have learned from traveling is the, perhaps cliché, mantra that “people are people everywhere.” In my life, I have found the deepest joy and most fruitful experiences to be when I am connecting with someone across perceived boundaries of culture, race, gender, language, or age.
Enjoying Mexican food with colleagues in Kigali, Rwanda.
Why I’m here
I have been highly influenced by my international experiences and fundamentally believe that international education (or as I like to call it more generally, learning across boundaries) is the number one tool we can use to change the world.
I believe the world is shaped by our individualized perspective and collective cultural lenses, and that all people, big and small, should have the opportunity to step into someone else’s shoes and see how things look from another angle.
That’s where Imprints Press comes in! While it’s not always feasible for everyone to travel, that shouldn’t be a prerequisite to acquiring global knowledge. I’m here at Imprints Press to put global literacy and awareness into the hearts, minds, and thought processes of young learners—to help them realize that diversity is the heart and soul of humanity. Being aware of, and accepting, differences in culture, language, and ethnicity is the first step to creating a more peaceful, productive, and poverty free world.
My homestay family in rural Ghana.
Where I’ve been
With nearly a decade of experience working, living, and studying in sub-Saharan Africa, I have devoted my life to travel, learning across boundaries, and facilitating international exchange experiences.
I started my international career with study abroad programs to Ghana and South Africa and became fascinated with the prospect of working together across cultures to solve some of the world’s most pressing problems. This passion has taken me to Ghana every year since 2008, allowed me to live in rural Kenya for a year managing a leadership program, and most recently to South Africa where I facilitated social entrepreneurship programs in the rural Western Cape.
You can read more about my international experiences on my website jenniferchizek.com and check out my linkedin page for more information about the projects I’ve worked on.
At a braai (barbecue) with colleagues and students in Doringbaai, South Africa.
Where I’m going
On a journey! Always, always on a journey. Imprints Press is a giant adventure and I’m excited to have you along for the ride. Let’s work together to build a better world, let’s leave an imprint that will teach future generations the importance of global literacy, diversity, and communicating across cultures.