Kate Jennings, M.Ed., L.P.C.-S., 36

Name: Kate Jennings, M.Ed., L.P.C.-S.

Family: Husband- Andy, Daughter- June (4), Son- Wyatt (2)

Hometown: Fort Worth

Age: 36

Company: The Bug and Bee, PLLC

Position: Owner & Lead Therapist

How do you choose to give back to the community? Both Creel Family Philanthropies and Craft are what I call my “Passion Projects.” I dedicate my time, creative marketing skills and networking abilities to fundraise for these two organizations through multiple events throughout the year. It isn’t just about giving money to the community- it’s about creating a sense of dedication and generational involvement. It’s about putting in the elbow grease to work to truly be the change in our community.  

What advice would you give to yourself at age 15? “Comparison is the thief of all joy. The only person you have to be better than is the person you were yesterday.” You can do hard things- life is going to get tough, but you are tougher. Take action- be that change you want to see. Don’t compare your chapter 1 to someone else’s chapter 20.  

Where did your first paycheck come from? I was a nanny for a few families here in Fort Worth before beginning my first “real job” at Cook in 2010. Prior to that, I also worked as an intern at the Travis County Juvenile Public Defender’s Office. Depending on what you consider to be a real paycheck- one of those three! I do always say that Cook Children’s was my first grown up job, though. 

What other profession would you like to try? I love event planning. Working through CFP and the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation has allowed me to dabble in that area while still working as a therapist though, which remains my true passion. 

Tell us about an influential person in your life. How did they influence you and why are they important?  My Granny Poirot always saw the good in everyone. No matter how big someone messed up or how many times someone failed, she loved them. She saw through race, gender, sexuality- all of it- to see the heart of people, which was not common for her generation (she was born in 1919). She could right my world by rocking me on her lap, which she did even into my mid-twenties, when I was much too old to be rocked! 

What did you want to be when you grew up? Thanks to local dentist, Dr. Bruce Weiner, I wanted to be a Pediatric Dentist

What movie, TV show, book, stage play or video game influenced you growing up? I loved Charlotte’s Web by EB White as a child. There’s even a pig charm on my James Avery charm bracelet- I loved the idea that something/someone so small (Charlotte) could make such a big difference. Then in graduate school, I loved reading Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankl that emphasized turning tragedy into triumph and doing good in the world no matter what.

Tell us one thing about yourself that most people would be surprised to find out? I am a New Orleans Saints fan! I love the spirit of the team (and New Orleans) and the fact that despite being displaced by Hurricane Katrina, they still managed to make it to their first NFC Championship Game that year. To add to it, I adore Sean Payton, and my daughter was born on Drew Brees’ birthday.  

What is your ideal vacation? Take me to the beach! I want to feel all the sun, hear all the waves and drink all the margaritas.

Favorite food or restaurant? Mexican- Esperanza’s is my favorite! 

Favorite drink? Wine or margaritas (haha see, above)

Favorite movie: Top Gun, Varsity Blues or Ocean’s Eleven

Favorite sports team: Texas Longhorns- hook ‘em!

Favorite song: Anything Texas Country!

Tell us about your prop? My prop is a stress ball, but my daughter calls it a “Worry Star.” Fidgets are all the rage with kids these days, but they’re actually proven to be biologically therapeutic. The nerves in our hand are directly connected to the nerves in our brain. So when we squeeze then relax our hand (like around a Worry Star), we are actually relaxing our brains, too. The other half of my prop is a Worry Monster. I talk to kids a lot about how we all have a Worry Monster- mine tells me “Kate, what if you don’t pick the kids up on time? Kate, what if you get stuck in traffic?” I then usually ask parents what their Worry Monster tells them to help the children understand that everyone has one. I typically have them draw their Worry Monster and practice talking back to it- telling it whose boss and practicing being in charge of their Worry Monster (instead of letting it be in charge of them). This externalizing of their worries also helps them to realize that their worries are a part of them, not all of them.