With a passion to help create resources and contribute to creating safe spaces for families of color within the military community, Jerilyn joins Blue Star Families' Campaign for Inclusion Fellowship program as the Robert R. McCormick Chicagoland DEPLOY Fellow. Serving on advisory councils and alongside district equity teams who work toward actively cultivating inclusive spaces through improvement goals around diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging, Jerilyn has seen the positive impact these programs can have on a community and hopes to mimic those results for our military families.
As a Navy spouse of 18 years, Jerilyn has experienced firsthand the difficulties military families face. As an advocate of transformative change, she hopes to connect and empower our military members with the tools they need to thrive. During her time with Blue Star Families she presented Project Bridge Strong, a localized year-round sponsorship program connecting the military families of Naval Station Great Lakes with its surrounding civilian communities. She attended National University San Diego and currently resides in the greater Chicagoland area with her husband HM1 Kenneth Leonard Jr., their four children, and 4-year-old porkie, Rhaja. Jerilyn enjoys traveling, loves street fairs and remains an active volunteer in her local community as well as with military organizations.