Ms. Jean earned a B.A. in English with a concentration in Social Ethics from Holy Cross, she then went on to earn an M.A. in School Counseling at Assumption College.
While in college Ms. Jean was taught that the value of an education was not how well it could serve the individual student but how the education could help that student better serve others.
Ms. Jean worked long term in childhood mental health, both in schools and in therapeutic settings. Her volunteer work allowed her to mentor young children in both the US and abroad.
The idea for Sleeping Beauty and The Cursed Code began with a CNN Money article by Alanna Petroff (read it here). Ms. Petroff gave a call to action, she said, "Promote female role models in STEM subjects: It's much easier for girls to imagine a career in STEM subjects if they see successful examples."
Ms. Jean took this guidance and realized she wanted young girls to know they didn't have to change anything about themselves to pursue those careers. Some young girls love princesses, love fairytales, and cute dresses, and that's okay!
Some are more like the twin princesses from the Neverlands, more comfortable fishing and wearing a bow tie then worrying about their tiaras, and that's great too!
All of them deserve to be loved, welcomed and accepted.
Ms. Jean chose to envision a lab filled with all the classical princesses where they could study and create in ways that would change the world. The idea was not to show that they were breaking down walls (if that's not their thing), but that they were welcome in the lab, they belonged there and no one ever questioned their worthiness.
In addition to packing Sleeping Beauty and The Cursed Code with positive and inclusive female STEM powered role models, she also aimed to make children laugh and smile, because readings so much better when it's fun!
Charles McCheese began as a bedtime story for Ms. Jean's son. Many of her original stories are ones she would tell him at night. He loved to hear stories where he was the star. As he entered preschool, she noticed how much he loved his friends so she'd add their names to the stories too. That way he could feel like all his friends were with him on the crazy adventures "his" characters would have.
Charles McCheese and The Childhood News Network is meant to give young children a glimpse into the world of journalism, outside of the depressing nature of the "grown-up" news. Charles and the other reporters travel the globe searching for leads on the Taco Tuesday Conspiracy.