Live in the Moment: The Legacy of Matt Jenkins

In the summer of 2012, Matt Jenkins fulfilled a dream when he moved to the Tetons. As an AmeriCorps member, Matt shared his love of teaching and learning in the natural world with peers and students alike. Matt brought people together and helped them find the joy in every moment.

In July of that summer, the world lost Matt in a tragic car accident. As anyone who ever knew Matt could tell you, his spirit was never easily repressed, and to this day a few special programs at the Teton Science Schools are imbued with his indomitable nature. Matt’s motto was “Live in the Moment,” an idea he expounded upon in hopes that we all might make the most of our lives. Today, this wisdom can be found at the core of three summer backcountry programs that bring 7th to 9th grade students from around the country to the Tetons to learn about themselves, the world, and their role in making it a better place. Each year, these students return home knowing what it is to truly “Live in the Moment.”

This summer, Field Education Lead Instructor Chris Perkins crafted a fitting tribute to Matt and the young men of the “Kings of the Mountains” backcountry program who walked in Matt’s footsteps.

A very special thank you to Timothy and Charlotte Jenkins for their continued support of these programs and for helping us keep Matt’s legacy alive.

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