Jenny, We’ll Miss Your Presence on Dialog

December 15, 2011
Jenny Perdomo With Holly Kearl

Jenny Perdomo (left) with AAUW Legal Advocacy Fund Program Manager Holly Kearl

On the evening of Tuesday, December 13, I was preparing for our final blog team meeting of 2011. I was going over all our positive growth and reflecting on the tremendous team effort that makes AAUW Dialog excel. Among the many staff and guests who contribute to the blog’s success, our interns write some of the best, most interesting, and most engaging posts. They bring to Dialog a fresh and timely perspective and are a critical contributing factor to the tremendous growth of the blog over the years.

Over the past few months, I have had the great privilege of getting to better know all our interns, including Jenny Gonzalez Perdomo, who fell ill and passed away suddenly on Tuesday at age 27.

Jenny was a fantastically bright, dedicated, and loyal member of the blog team and was always a compelling and eager contributor. You may remember her great posts on why hormones don’t make women uninterested in math, on the struggles millennial women face to balance their lives and careers, and on the activities of the newly appointed National Student Advisory Council, which she helped coordinate.

Jenny was working on her master’s degree in women’s studies at George Washington University. Along with being an intern with our Leadership Programs, she worked at the Women’s Studies department at GW and was a committee member of the Young Nonprofit Professionals Network in Washington, D.C.

She is survived by her husband and is missed sorely by her friends and colleagues. AAUW Dialog would like to remember and honor Jenny here, and we invite her friends and family, her co-workers, and our readers to share their thoughts.

My deepest sympathies are with her family, her friends, and her colleagues in this very difficult time.

By:   |   December 15, 2011

18 Comments

  1. Jess Kelly says:

    The more I got to know Jenny the more I liked her. As the months went on in our time of being Leadership Programs interns together, I discovered how smart, engaging, passionate, and funny Jenny was. I remember a recent conversation we had about the placement of her desk at AAUW, which is right in front of the elevator when you arrive on our floor. I asked her if she liked seeing everyone as they came and left the office, and she said it depended on her mood. If she was tired, she would keep to herself, but when she was feeling good, she was excited to be the ambassador to the floor. She said she would be willing to greet everyone who came off of the elevator with a hearty “Welcome to AAUW!” and a smile. I will miss Jenny immensely, and my heart goes out to her family, friends, and all the people who hadn’t yet gotten the chance to meet her. But I will always see her smiling face as I get off on our floor, and I could not think of a better ambassador for us all to have.

  2. Claudia Richards says:

    Although I did not work with Jenny often, she was always helpful and professional. My thoughts and prayers are with her family and friends!

  3. My condolences to all at AAUW and to her family.Such a tragic loss.

  4. HB says:

    I’m just going to say a few brief things about Jenny on behalf of the George Washington University Graduate Feminists, otherwise known as the GFs, of which Jenny was a loyal member.

    Those of us who got to know her in the last year and a half here at GW knew a variety of things about Jenny. She married her high school sweetheart, Ralph. She loved her dog, Pinky. She loved Miami. She was heartbreakingly beautiful. She was a great writer. She was smart. She loved film—including Tyler Perry movies, despite herself. She wanted to be an actress or a screenwriter when she was younger. She was a passionate feminist activist. She gave generously of her time and her talents. And she wanted to run a women’s issues nonprofit someday, and I have no doubt in my mind that she would have done just that.

    But these tidbits about Jenny seem really small and insignificant on paper, because they can’t capture the intelligence, grace, kindness, thoughtfulness, and—the most painful thing for me to remember—the potential that defined Jenny to us.

    We all wish we had had a chance to let Jenny know how highly we thought of her and what a profound mark she has left on us and on our tight-knit community. If she were here, and I believe that she is, we would remind her: Jenny, you were one of us. You were a GF, a strong feminist, and a good friend. We’re so grateful that you shared a brief part of your life with us, and we’ll do our best to honor your name and your legacy here at GW.

  5. lizard151 says:

    I interacted with Jenny at work almost exclusively through her blogs, so I find this post to be an especially moving and appropriate tribute. I will miss her exceptional writing, and I’m so sorry that we’ll never know exactly what she was capable of. My thoughts are with her family and friends.

  6. Shana Sabbath says:

    While our lives only intersected briefly, I could see that Jennifer was full of life. The first thing that I noticed was how friendly and approachable she was. I also remember the beautiful photograph that she had on her desk of her and her husband—and the sweet smile that she had when I commented on it.

    My thoughts are with her family. I hope that they can find at least some comfort in their memories.

  7. Anita says:

    What a terrible tragedy. We are so sorry to hear this. And are grateful for the contributions she made to making this world better.

  8. Jayne says:

    I didn’t know her, but LOVED her blog articles. This is such a sad day for all of us to have lost a great woman with so much potential for leadership in the future. My deepest sympathies to her family, friends, and AAUW staff.

  9. Carol Virostek says:

    Reading these tributes to Jennifer- and rereading her blogs – I wish I had had the privilege of meeting her. My deepest condolences to all those whose lives Jennifer touched, especially her husband, family, and friends – and all of you, her AAUW family. You and she are in my thoughts.

  10. Charmen Goehring-Fox says:

    I didn’t have the pleasure of meeting Jenny but I know, from the comments here and from the quality of our staff, that she was a woman of excellence who will be sorely missed. I am grateful for the blog posts she wrote on behalf of women and girls and the role model that she was for others. My condolences to Ralph and her family.

  11. Terri Toruno says:

    I never met Jenny but after reading her blogs and all the kind words everyone has written about her I felt I also must share a few words-I work with Jenny’s mom Carmen I. Gonzalez. It appears that Jenny is just like her mother and all I can say is “WOW” we lost a beautiful person…My prayers go out to Jenny’s husband and all her friends and family. I especially want her mother to know that everyone at the Department of Corrections will be there to support you through this trying period when you most need it. I for one am so sad because as a parent this never seems fair. To Jenny-open your light for others to shine and to her Mother Carmen-I will always be here for you- WIth much love and respect-
    Terri Toruno

  12. Holly Kearl says:

    I first met Jenny last March when I spoke to the GWU graduate feminist group, of which she was a core member. Then I had the privilege of working with her at AAUW starting in August. She took over running the Student Advisory Council, which I had run the previous three years, so I worked with her a lot to transition the program over to her. She was a fast learner and did a great job keeping the various components organized. She coordinated the 10 women’s fall retreat in DC, a big feat. I was with them for part of it and observed how great she was with the young women and how they looked up to her as a role model.

    Across the few months since August, we talked pretty frequently, not only about work but also about her graduate program since I’d gone through the same one a few years ago. She wrote one of her big papers this semester on street harassment, an area I focus on a lot, so I gave her resources and advice for her research. We also bonded over our dogs, our similar long commute via the Orange line, and our love of the feminist tv show “Parks and Rec.” Jenny even dressed up as Leslie Knope, the main character, when the teacher of the class she had on Halloween encouraged them to dress up as feminist characters/heroines. She thoughtfully sent me a “Happy Thanksgiving” text over the Thanksgiving break.

    Just last Thursday, we got to spend a lot of time together at the AAUW holiday party (which was when the above photo was taken) and I cherish those hours of food, conversation, and dancing.

    Jenny always brightened up when she talked about her family, her husband Ralph, and her dog Pinky. My thoughts are with them during this shocking, sad time. I hope they can find some comfort knowing how loved Jenny was wherever she went and that she made all of our lives better.

  13. Irma says:

    I met Jenny along with her sister Lizzie and brother David when they were children. I work with and love their mom Carmen I Gonzalez with my entire heart. Jenny, Lizzie and David are always the topic of conversation with Carmen. She adores her children!!!! I am here for you Carmen!!!!

  14. elizabeth vandenburg says:

    My condolences to Jenny’s family, friends and co-workers. In her memory, we will all continue to work for equity.

    Elizabeth Vandenburg
    AAUW Member of Reston-Herndon Branch
    Regional Liaison
    Mid-Atlantic Girls Collaborative

  15. jeff byrd says:

    May you always walk in sunshine and God’s love around you flow, for the happiness you gave us, no one will ever know, it broke our hearts to lose you, but you did not go alone, a part of us went with you, the day God called you home.

    A million times we’ve needed you.
    May you always walk in sunshine and God’s love around you flow, for the happiness you gave us, no one will ever know, it broke our hearts to lose you, but you did not go alone, a part of us went with you, the day God called you home.

    A million times we’ve needed you.

    A million times we’ve cried.

    If love could only have saved you.

    You never would have died.

    The Lord be with you

    And May You Rest in Peace

    Jenny Gonzalez Perdomo

  16. Guelsy says:

    I met Jenny and her siblings, David & Lizzie through their mom Carmen whom I worked for. Carmen is always talking about her children and was very proud of Jenny, My heart aches just knowing of the pain Carmen and her family are going through. I pray that God give them the strength and faith to deal with this terrible loss. Carmen I love you like a mother and I am here for you now and always. I am so sorry for your loss.

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