Local father finds passion in taking time to help children

Doing it Right 

Local father finds passion in taking time to help children.

By Alison Bailin Batz

As kids, we don’t get to pick our parents.

“But wow, was I lucky,” says North Valley resident W. Scott Jenkins, Jr. who grew up under the watchful eye of his father and uncle––both local attorneys. “I remember sitting at my dad’s office when I would work for his firm in the summer as a file clerk––learning a new life lesson each day by simply listening,” says Jenkins.

And while the lessons learned in that office were great, perhaps the greatest lessons he learned from a young age were about giving back.

“My family and really our mother, always instilled in us that doing well for ourselves was simply not enough. Rather, to be a man of great value meant to use your own skill set to make other people’s lives better,” says Jenkins, who would follow in his father’s footsteps into law, now serving as a partner at Quarles & Brady and recognized as among the “Best Lawyers in America 2018” in the practice areas of Commercial Litigation and Bankruptcy and Creditors’ Rights and in Southwest Super Lawyers Magazine as one of the top lawyers in Arizona. “That’s been my focus as long as I can remember, especially when it comes to kids.”

Jenkins, who is also a graduate of Valley Leadership’s XXXI Leadership Institute and was named to the Phoenix Business Journal’s prestigious Forty Under 40 in recent years, got his start in community stewardship at St. Mary’s High School, his alma mater, volunteering for the school’s foundation board to help students gain access to scholarships before getting involved in Junior Achievement of Arizona (JA) in 2004.

“JA has been educating K-12 students about entrepreneurship, work readiness, and financial literacy since 1957,” says Jenkins, who continues to sit on JA’s Central District board of directors today.

Once established both in his legal practice, and with St. Mary’s and JA, his father’s words echoed in his mind again, inspiring him to do even more––enter the Fiesta Bowl Committee.

Wait––the football game…helps children, families, and even teachers?

As it turns out, each year the work done by the Fiesta Bowl committee volunteers in selling tickets, sponsorships, and hosting events, of which Jenkins has been doing since 2012, raises millions of dollars for youth, sports, education, and human services organizations annually.

“This year we will be giving out more than $2.5 million for Arizona nonprofits,” says Jenkins, noting that their Wishes for Teachers program will provide a minimum of $500,000 to Arizona educators, K-12. “One hundred teachers will receive a $5,000 grant so they can make their classroom wish come true.”

And on the heels of the Fiesta Bowl, not to mention coaching his sons in Little League and club baseball while serving on the executive committee and board of directors for Cactus-Horizon Little League, comes Jenkins latest endeavor. Now into his third year as an active Thunderbird, Jenkins will spend February knee-deep in everything Waste Management Phoenix Open.

The 2018 Waste Management Phoenix Open Presented by Ak-Chin Indian Community, also known as “The Greatest Show on Grass,” will be held Jan. 29 to Feb. 4, 2018 at TPC Scottsdale. It’s the best-attended golf tournament in the world and has gained legendary status for being the most unique stop on the PGA Tour.

“The Thunderbirds were founded in 1937 with the mission of promoting the Valley of the Sun through sports. Last year, we had another record year and raised $10.1 million for local charities and have eclipsed $122 million in charitable giving since our inception,” says Jenkins. “To be able to support our community with over $10 million in charitable funding and $389 million in economic impact through the Open is truly rewarding and remarkable.”

So, while famous for its 16th hole and Coors Light Bird’s Nest, the Open–– according to Jenkins––really is at its core “fore” the kids. Just like him.



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