The city of Covington honored the 2018 Citizen of the Year at the July 10 council meeting. This year’s recipient is Jennifer Harjehausen.
Laura Roth received Honorary Citizen of the Year.
Jennifer is a project manager for a lab called Pacific Biomarkers and is a mom of four. She said she has lived in Covington for about 14 years and has been volunteering and stayed active in the community for all of those years.
According to a press release from the city, Jennifer was awarded this award because of what she has done to contribute to the city.
“Jennifer was recognized for the many volunteer hours she contributes to the city including currently serving on the city’s arts and planning commissions, chairing the city’s Parks and Recreation Priorities Advisory Committee in 2015 and 2016, volunteering at the Student Art Show, Covington Days Festival and Kids Fest, and helping with the After School Art Program at Cedar Valley Elementary that the parks and recreation department started this last school year,” the release stated.
Jennifer said she had no idea she was going to get Citizen of the Year.
“When I found out I was surprised. I did not know I had even been nominated, so it was a really big surprise, which makes it even more fun,” Jennifer said.
Finding time to do all of the volunteer work that she does has been a bit of a challenge, Jennifer said. Telecommuting has been the key to her finding the little time she has to do the volunteer work that she does.
Jennifer said she likes to keep busy and has been volunteering since she was in college.
“I’ve just always volunteered. It’s just constantly changing and evolving into what I’m doing,” she said.
Her favorite part about volunteering in the community is by far meeting new people, Jennifer said. She said she has met lifelong friends and some incredible people.
Both Jennifer and Laura received proclamations from the city council that officially declared July 21 as “Jennifer Harjehausen Day,” and July 22 as “Laura Roth Day,” according to the press release.
“I get to ride in the front car of the (Covington Days) parade, so I sit on a convertible and wave to people, so that will be fun,” she said. “They said that because I have a 16-year-old son, he can drive or my husband can drive the car, which makes it kind of fun too.”
Looking back, Jennifer said she never could have guessed the city would honor her in this way.
“It’s… I don’t know how to describe it. It’s really moving, it’s touching, it makes me feel good. It’s just feels really nice to be honored. I would never thought that I would get something so big, I appreciate it,” she said.