A committed Catholic laywoman, Mary Ellen has devoted her life to the Jernigan Institute and National Federation of the Blind as Policy Advisor and administrator par excellence for over 35 years. She continues her work at the National Center for the Blind, which was established in 1978 by her beloved, husband Kenneth Jernigan, who blind himself, was for many decades, the principal leader of the organized blind movement until his death in 1998. Mary Ellen has brought her skillful means to the Wisdom Waypoints Council as Treasurer since 2017, serving on the website committee and taking the lead on all things legal and structural. Mary Ellen was an early participant, beginning in 2009 in Cynthia’s Wisdom Schools, including her six-month course, 2011-2012.
Mary Ellen lives in Baltimore where she and Eileen Clark, also an early Wisdom student, share a home and daily contemplative practices, and have led Wisdom book study and practice groups for many years.