with Jim Derick
Jennifer Hurley is from Massachusetts. She earned her Bachelor of Arts from Hobart and William Smith Colleges in English and worked in human resources. As Jen and Matthew’s family grew, Jen went back to work as a substitute teacher. She is a certified health coach. Jen feels a passion for helping others to live their best lives. Currently, she works at Whole Foods in the Whole Body department, helping customers reach their health goals. Her mission is to help others achieve their optimal health.
Before Jennifer learned that she had an AVM, she was living a great life with her husband Matthew and their three children. Jen was into fitness and eating healthy and understood what it could do for her body and brain. After learning about her AVM (which is a tangle of abnormal blood vessels connecting arteries and veins in the brain) she understood that she needed brain surgery. But before the surgery, her AVM burst, requiring emergency brain surgery. The prognosis wasn’t good. After four weeks at Beth Israel Hospital in a medically induced coma, she was transferred to Spaulding Rehab in Charlestown.
Six weeks of rehab at Spaulding made a huge difference. Jen learned how to sit up, walk and talk again. One of her happiest days was the day she learned how to tie her running shoes! Her daily mission is to recover her speech and all of the things that matter to her. Before her AVM and stroke she didn’t know what PT, OT and Speech therapy were. Now she uses all these therapies to get her life back.
Jen volunteers at Spaulding Rehab, her home away from home. Once a week, she visits patients and listens to their stories and offers hope. Also, Jen is a member of the Brain Injury Peer Visitor Program. Twice per month, the group meets and offers support to patients and their families as only survivors of a traumatic brain injury would understand. Both patients and caregivers are encouraged and welcome.
Jen’s interests include biking, swimming, tiles/dominos and walking her Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, Jackson! Jen is caring and compassionate. She’s determined and has a great sense of humor. Don’t count Jen out…. She has plans to run again. There’s always more to do and things she can reach for. That’s why life is so much fun!
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Public service ties together two family threads for Jake. On his dad’s side, it’s a tradition dating back to the Roosevelt and Kennedy administrations. On his mom’s side, it’s an obligation: a way to give back to a country that not only welcomed, but invested in, a family of poor Jewish refugees.
After graduating from the Newton Public Schools and Harvard College, Jake served as a captain in the United States Marines. His family had emphasized the importance of public service growing up, and it was his time to serve. He commanded infantry in Helmand Province, Afghanistan in 2012 and a reconnaissance unit in Panama in 2014. In Helmand, he led combat patrols through villages contested by the Taliban. In Panama, his team of elite reconnaissance Marines partnered with Colombian special operations to train the Panamanian Public Forces in drug interdiction tactics.
After returning home, Jake wanted to continue service at the local level. He was elected to the Newton City Council in 2015 and re-elected in 2017 and 2019. He is now the chair of the transportation and public safety committee, where he drives the city council’s agenda on reducing traffic and improving transit and walkability. Jake was the first elected official to endorse Ruthanne Fuller for mayor. She is now the first female mayor of Newton. Jake, himself, has been endorsed for city council by Progressive Newton for his forward-thinking positions on the environment, transportation, immigration, and education.
Jake has worked at a cybersecurity startup, acquired in 2018, and then as a senior manager at Liberty Mutual’s innovation lab. At Liberty Mutual, Jake helped orient the Fortune 100 company towards risk solutions for a greener, less congested transportation system, in which transit, walking, and cycling are viable options to cars. Jake has written extensively on state and local policy at the Harvard Kennedy School’s Project on Municipal Innovation, as a contributing writer for CommonWealth, and as the author of his own local newsletter. He was selected for the governor’s Better Government Transition Committee in 2014. He has an MBA in Finance from MIT Sloan.
Jake lives in Newtonville with his wife, Michelle, and their Labrador Retriever, Donut. He spends his free time with his nephews, Ryan (age 8) and Aaron (age 1
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