Growing up, storytelling came naturally for Jennifer Low. From reading to her younger brother, cousins and friends in elementary school, Jennifer discovered early her passions and talents.
“I loved sharing my knowledge and impacting others with the stories I told from books and my imagination. I even began to commit my own stories to paper to share,” says Jennifer. “As I grew older, I continued to pursue my passion, falling in love with new mediums like video, photography, and music, to tell stories and share knowledge in a way that was meaningful to the children, students and people I encountered.”
In high school, Jennifer was heading towards a career in sciences. But as it came time to decide on post-secondary education, Jennifer realized she couldn’t ignore her true calling. “Despite pursuing sciences for most of my high school education, I could no longer ignore the passion I had for reading, writing and passing on knowledge which prompted my decision to pursue a career in education.”
Entering the Bachelor of General Studies in Education program at Simon Fraser University was the perfect outcome for Jennifer. It allowed her the opportunity and flexibility to follow her dream of being an elementary teacher while also continuing to explore her love of storytelling and reading. She became actively involved in the SFU Community through the Friends of Simon tutoring program and The Peak, SFU’s student newspaper.
Jennifer has written for The Peak since her second year, allowing her to explore various aspects of creative writing and journalism. “Not only did I get to meet and work with many amazing and talented people, but I also finally achieved my childhood dream of becoming a published writer. This gave me an opportunity to explore SFU and everything the university has to offer.”
With Jennifer’s lifelong love of reading to children and sharing knowledge it came as no surprise that when she discovered the Friends of Simon tutoring program, she jumped at the opportunity to get involved. Friends of Simon, an award-winning tutoring program in the Faculty of Education, recruits, prepares and assigns university students as literacy tutors in the Lower Mainland, serving K-12 students new to Canada.
“Friends of Simon has the be one of the most rewarding experiences I’ve had at SFU,” says Jennifer. “Many of the students we work with at Friends of Simon are immigrants, refugees, English language-learners and students with learning impairments who have come from various backgrounds. I truly believe that helping these kids and inspiring them to develop a lifelong love of learning and building those impactful relationships is something truly makes the Friends of Simon program special.”
Jennifer’s journey at SFU has been a fulfilling and rewarding one. It allowed her to merge her passions and interests for education, reading, storytelling, journalism and creative writing into her studies and activities, both in and out of the classroom. Her advice for new students is to pursue your interests and passions outside of the classroom and not be afraid of what SFU has to offer.
“University can seem like a pretty daunting place and in first year it feels especially intimidating to step out of your comfort zone to make friends. My advice for new students is to put yourself out there and take risks. In first year, my biggest regret was not taking full advantage of all the clubs and programs SFU has to offer. SFU is full of diverse, talented, friendly and amazing people so by becoming part of the SFU community as early as possible you can give yourself the opportunity to connect with new friends that you never would have met otherwise.”