Meet Jennifer Mitchell of La Jolla Community Center

Editor’s Note: Welcome to La Jolla Light’s “People in the Neighborhood” series, which shines a spotlight on notable locals we all wish we knew more about! Light staff is out on the town talking to familiar, friendly faces to bring you their stories. If you know someone you’d like us to profile, send the lead via e-mail to editor@lajollalight.com or call us at (858) 875-5950.

La Jolla Community Center assistant director Jennifer Mitchell landed her job two years ago, and since then has become a key part of the community, especially to senior citizens.

She hails from Saginaw, Michigan and likes to ride her bike, wear classic outfits and listen to hip hop!

Her favorite color is red and she went to Northwestern University in Chicago to study business. She said she moved to San Diego because she was tired of the Midwestern weather and arrived in La Jolla six years ago.

How do you like working at La Jolla Community Center?

“I absolutely love it. I love non-profit work, I feel like I’m giving back. We have almost 800 members and I feel a close bond with almost all of them. I’m inspired daily by their intellectual curiosity, how they want to learn, how active they are, and I’m trying to get more seniors out of their homes to come down and participate in events and classes.”

Do you have children?

“I have two boys at La Jolla High; one in ninth and one in twelfth grade. They are both football players, and I helped the La Jolla Pop Warner Football League when they started, so I’ve been involved with football for 10 years, and I like to promote football ... it’s kind of controversial sometimes.

The Vikings have a new stadium and I’d like to see more people attend the games and support the athletic program. At a few of the games I went to, the stands were only a third filled. I realize the varsity team needs some work, but I’d like to see the community come out for games. I’m Midwestern, and football is really big in the Midwest.”

What was your upbringing like?

“It was great, I came from a small town in Michigan, everybody knew each other. That’s why I love La Jolla, even though it’s a different demographic. I ride my bike everywhere and I know people on the street, and that brings back the small-town Midwestern thing.”

Why do you like bike-riding around town?

“I’m known for riding my bike to work dressed in formal apparel, everybody makes jokes about it. Like, ‘I saw you on your bike in a dress,’ (laughs). But I love riding my bike around, I’d like to see people behave a little differently on the streets. People are driving constantly very close to me, but it does not deter me from riding my bike. I love it, and I love that I don’t have to find parking.”

What kind of music do you enjoy?

“I like opera, jazz, hip hop and rap. My Spotify is all rap. I know it’s a little weird (laughs) … I like Tupac and Drake. I started liking it a few years ago when I was boxing at a boxing club in Bird Rock, and it was all hardcore rap and I really got into it. Boxing and rap go very well together.”

Are you a very social person?

“Because I know so many people around here, I have a lot of acquaintances, hundreds, but I’d say I have just a few close friends. Friends are important to me. I like to bring them into civic causes, and I really promote community service with my friends and my children.”

What’s your style all about?

“I’m known to wear black and white with pearls. I like classic, elegant apparel.”

Do you have future plans to share?

“I have an entrepreneurial spirit so I’d like to own a company someday, and I want to see my children through college.”

What’s something about you La Jollans don’t know?

“Since most of my family is deceased, many people around here make me feel like family.”

— NEXT WEEK: Meet leather repairman Mohammed. 

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