In the early hours of Mother’s Day Sunday, May 13th, our friend and colleague, Autumn Jenkinson, was tragically killed in a traffic accident in Aldergrove. Not only was the loss of Autumn difficult for her family and friends to comprehend, her passing sent shock waves across the social work community locally, provincially, and nationally.
Autumn was born in Abbotsford and graduated from Abbotsford Senior Secondary. She completed her Social Service Worker Diploma (2003) and BSW (2005) at the University College of the Fraser Valley. During her studies at UCFV, her commitment to academics and community service was honoured with the Dean’s medal and scholarships, including one from BCASW.
When Autumn first joined the Fraser River Branch as a student member in August of 2004, she quickly impressed as articulate, energetic and passionate about social justice issues. She was already the UCFV Social Work Student Association President, the national student representative for the Canadian Association of Schools of Social Work (CASSW) and the student representative on the BCASW Child Welfare and Family Committee. As a social work student leader, she was keen to establish a relationship between the Social Work Student Association and BCASW.
Fraser River Branch members will sorely miss Autumn’s active involvement and leadership. Many successful branch initiatives can be attributed to her. Autumn was instrumental in organizing a community development project increasing awareness about youth homelessness and raising funds for the Fraser Valley Youth Shelter. More recently, she has been key to the establishment and development of an annualized UCFV BSW Graduation Dinner to congratulate and welcome new social workers to the profession.
In addition to being a dedicated and loving mother to her 9 year-old daughter Djambe, at the time of her passing Autumn was a valued employee of MCFD on the Youth team and nearing the completion of her MSW at UBC. She was also on the boards of BCASW and CASSW. Despite her brief time with us, she has made a significant contribution. Her passing represents an immense loss to our profession. We will miss her greatly.
Autumn is survived by her daughter Djambe, parents Lydia and Paul Jenkinson, brother Dylan and sister Bernadette. In her memory, a Trust Fund has been established for her daughter Djambe. Donations may be forwarded to Envision Credit Union, Abbotsford Village Branch, Account #6744726.
Christina Rodrigues, Fraser River Branch representative to the BCASW Board