To hear Downtown Courtenay Business Improvement Association president Jenny Deters is a mother is not out of the ordinary, but discovering the ages of her children may raise an eyebrow or two.
“They are 23 and 19,” said the ever-youthful Deters. “I had my first son (Forrest) when I was in Grade 11 at Vanier, and I was one of the first parents to be a part of the daycare in Vanier – part of the first graduating class.”
Deters has always been grateful for the Today ‘N’ Tomorrow Learning Society, and the opportunities it afforded her. Being a teenage mother presents many challenges.
“Obviously, financially, time-wise, being young – there were lots of challenges,” she said. “It (Today ‘N’ Tomorrow) is close to my heart. I’ve served on their board, and I am involved in some of their marketing. They’ve had about 130 parents graduate from that program over the last 23 years, so it’s a pretty amazing program.”
Jenny was pregnant the year the program was launched.
“We were involved from the beginning. We got to help name it, and hire the first staff. We were kind of like the guinea pigs of the program. I think there were 14 or 15 of us in the first class. So there was a large demand for it at that time.”
Jenny and her husband, Todd, own Rattan Plus Home & Patio, on Fifth Street. When not at the store, they spend a lot of their quality time together mountain-biking through the beautiful trails of the Comox Valley and surrounding areas.
Jenny has been involved with numerous organizations throughout her life, and continues to offer her time to causes within the community.
“One of the things about me is how passionate I am about the organizations I am involved with,” she said. “Coming from where I have come from – living in a foster home, then having my first son in high school – to get to where I am today, it’s all because this community is so rich in organizations that help you achieve your potential. So I am really passionate about giving back. So, when I am involved with Downtown Courtenay, it’s because this business and this building is providing my family with great things, so I want to give that back.
“The only reason I am where I am today is because I was lucky enough to benefit from other people being passionate about certain organizations and giving back.”