In celebration of the Grand Rapids Business Journal’s 40 under 40 event next week, we are excited to spotlight our own DU alum honoree, Jenelle Marie Davis, as this week’s Alumni Success Story. Since graduating from DU, Jenelle has used her education and skills to successfully build a business that falls outside of the normal corporate realm.
Growing up in Caledonia, Jenelle initially attended GRCC but was unable to find her niche. She inherently stumbled upon an accounting role that she grew to love. With this new found passion she enrolled at DU in the Fall of 2008 and prepared for the challenge of the accountancy program. Jenelle strived in the program and earned her BBA and MBA in accounting with honors in 2010. She had multiple job offers prior to graduation, some of which included positions in the “Top 4” firms in accounting. She worked as an auditor for a few years, until she decided that she wanted to focus her energy on a project that was closer to her heart.
Jenelle used her business acumen backed by her personal passion to put into action a movement known as The STD Project. The project is a multi-award-winning independent website and progressive movement eradicating STI stigma by facilitating and encouraging awareness, education, and acceptance through storytelling and resource recommendations. The website had more than 1 million views in its first year and more than 200 visitors from various countries. Her work has been featured in popular TV, radio, and print outlets such as: Cosmopolitan Magazine, Jezebel, Forbes, HuffPost Live, NPR, Mother Jones, Refinery 29, NOW Magazine (UK), and many more.
Jenelle is also the STD Expert for Answers.com, a Hepatitis C Expert for HepatitisC.net, an adjunct accounting professor at Grand Rapids Community College and a professional speaker. When Jenelle is not speaking, teaching, or mentoring, she enjoys spending time outdoors camping, snowshoeing, hiking, skiing, kayaking, and enjoying the arts.
Jenelle believes her DU education laid the foundation to her successful entrepreneurial career. “I am proof that someone can be entrepreneurial by thinking outside of the corporate box. An education is just the beginning of what someone can achieve.”