Saturday, November 29, 2008

Meet Jill Biden

Dr. Jill Tracy Biden (née Jacobs) was raised in Willow Grove, PA. Jill is the oldest of five sisters, and the daughter of Bonny, a stay-at-home mom, and Donald, a banker. Both her parents are deceased.

Jill and Joe met when she was a student at the University of Delaware, an introduction arranged by Joe's brother. When Joe called to ask her out, Jill made sure to mention she was not impressed with his title and that he should feel lucky that she had voted for him. At the time, Joe had two sons, Beau and Hunter.

The couple dated for two years, and, on June 17, 1977, they were married at the United Nations chapel in New York City. Jill has said that when she married Joe, she knew she was marrying the whole family, including his two sons. Beau and Hunter joined the couple on their honeymoon.

In 1981, Joe and Jill had a daughter, Ashley. All of the children are now grown and five grandchildren -- Naomi, Finnegan, Maisy, Natalie, and Hunter Biden -- have been added to the family. Beau is the Attorney General of the State of Delaware and a captain in the Delaware National Guard. Hunter is a lawyer; and Ashley is employed as a social worker.

Jill is in her 15th year at Delaware Technical Community College, where she teaches English composition. She also spent 13 years in the public schools, where she was a Reading specialist and English teacher as well as a part-time teacher with the Rockford Psychiatric Hospital Adolescent Program.

While working full-time and raising a family, Jill earned two masters degrees: a Master's degree in English from Villanova University (1987) and a Master's degree in reading from West Chester University (1981). And in January 2007, Jill earned her Doctorate in Education from the University of Delaware. Her dissertation focused on how to retain students in community colleges.

Jill has always been active and engaged in the issues that matter to her most, like health care. Jill had four friends with breast cancer, one of whom died. She thought that as an educator there was something she could do. In 1993, Jill started the Biden Breast Health Initiative, which in the past 15 years has educated more than 7,000 ninth-through-twelfth grade girls in Delaware about proper breast health.

Jill is also involved with Delaware Boots on the Ground, an organization that helps military families whose needs are not being met by existing programs or who have fallen through the cracks. This summer, she also started a program called Book Buddies to get kids reading at an early age. The program helps low-income children and raises money to buy books.

Jill makes sure to keep active, running 5 miles 5 days a week. She also ran in the Marine Corps Marathon.

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