Getting to Know Tenniel Hacker

Name: Tenniel Hacker

Position: Turtles lead preschool teacher

Hometown: West Moreland, Jamaica

Length of service at YWCA: 5 months

Favorite food: Ackee saltfish

Favorite book: Twilight series

Favorite place: Boston

Favorite movie: The Notebook

Watching on Netflix: The Flash

Hobbies: Hanging out with her daughter Cadence


Tenniel spent most of her childhood in her hometown of West Moreland, Jamaica. When she was 9 years old, her family moved to the United States to pursue better career opportunities.

She remembers the summer before she started school in the US, her mother told her she would have to speak proper English, not the Patois she was used to. “I get why my mom wanted us to speak the right way, but I also feel like my cultural identity got taken away. I kind of lost my sense of background after moving here.”

Tenniel plans on visiting Jamaica next year with her daughter Cadence, who is now 1 years old.  “I want to go back to Jamaica and be a tourist. The only part of the island I’ve seen if where I grew up. I also want to teach my daughter about Jamaican culture, and I hope she likes the food as much as I do!”

Shortly after her daughter was born Tenniel applied for a teaching position at YWCA, she knew she wanted to work with children again. Becoming a teacher was always in the back of her mind but she was never really pushed toward pursuing a degree. She is looking to obtain her teaching certification starting this year. She loves learning new things and is excited to start this new chapter in her life.

Tenniel is also applying for US citizenship this year, we are so excited for her! She helped her grandmother study for the test and hopes with a little brushing up on her US history and civics, that she will pass and become a full citizen.