Approaching the 10th anniversary of 9/11

Jennifer Adams

Jennifer Adams

Before September 11,  Jennifer Adams described herself as a “very normal person working in a very normal career.”

Up to that point, perhaps the only unique situation the financial consultant had experienced was living through Hurricane Andrew in 1992 as a teen in Miami.

Today Jennifer manages a museum and an almost 4,000-member non-profit organization in New York that supports families who lost loved ones on September 11, 2001.

As the chief executive officer of the September 11th Families Association, Jennifer has been a leader in family advocacy, communications, and rebuilding after the disaster.

With offices overlooking the World Trade Center site, the organization’s mission is to support victims of terrorism through communication, representation, and peer support, and to unite the September 11 community, present evolving issues, and share resources for long-term recovery. It also operates The Tribute WTC Visitor Center, a museum and visitor center across the street from the World Trade Center site that attracts 500,000 visitors each year.

This unique career change was a surprise in her life. “Before this, I knew nothing about non-profits,” she says with a smile. “I thought they were places where you donated clothes.”

But after ten years in non-profit work, Jennifer has found a new vocation, one in which she has earned a national reputation.  She says, “I never said that this is what I wanted to do. But I was in the right place at the right moment, and it was clearly the right thing to do.”

Many people found themselves in unique circumstances after September 11. Many found ways to turn the evil into good. More than a dozen have shared those stories with me in my book that comes out this summer, “Life is Too Short: Stories of Transformation and Renewal after 9/11.”

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