Jennifer Ghidiu was quite nearly a high school dropout, and her post-secondary track was non-traditional. After narrowly graduating high school in Central New York, Jennifer went on to drop out of college and to travel across the U.S. After studying ASL in community college, she returned for her undergrad at the University of Washington. Through programs at UW, she began to do volunteer tutoring with various at-risk youth organizations around Seattle, and discovered her passion for education. She then joined Teach for America and began teaching in Camden, NJ, where she was a founding advisor with Big Picture’s MetEast High School. She’s a proud advisor of the first graduating class from MetEast. From there, she went on to various design and leadership roles through Big Picture Philadelphia, most notably being part of the founding and leadership team of el Centro de Estudiantes re-engagement high school. In 2012, Jennifer moved to Rochester, NY, to be closer to family, and began regional work, coordinating programs across Central New York, providing trainings and professional development for schools and districts across the state. Jennifer has done consulting, training, research and writing work for Big Picture Learning since 2006, and continues to coordinate data collection, resource development, school design work, and a regional critical friends group. A non-traditional student, Jennifer believes that systems should be built around students instead of vice-versa. Her current areas of focus include change management, community-building and examining how schools can create learning experiences that support long-term life success.