At the age of 14 Jillian was placed into a foster home where she stayed until she aged out of the system at age 18. "Because my foster parents were the kind of people they were, I learned how to become a better person by modeling myself after them." Jillian still remains in contact with her foster parents.

Jillian has been involved at many levels in foster care change. In Michigan she is part of the Michigan Youth Opportunities Initiative. She has also participated with two different Youth Leadership Boards. Jillian has been involved with projects in her state such as the Pinwheel Project, and she has had the opportunity to speak across the state about her life in foster care and the lessons that can be learned from her story. Jillian has also helped with projects in high school including Kiddie Kare, where she helped lead a project that would provide child care for teachers while they were in meetings.

"I'm not a big fan of the outdoors in Michigan during the winter so I tend to stay inside when it's cold. When it's warm out, however, I try to get to the beach as often as possible because we have the most beautiful beaches in the world. I also like to take walks and ride my bike as often as possible."

Team(s) or Cohort(s)
2009 Outstanding Young Leaders