Judge Jenkins is a native of Baton Rouge, Louisiana. In September of 1989, upon passing the bar and accepting a job offer to serve as an assistant district attorney, she made New Orleans her home. She is the third of five children, two older sisters and two younger brothers. She is “Aunt Cabrina” to one nephew, two nieces and one great niece. She is “Ms. Sandra or Nanny Sandra” to a multitude of God children and Church-children.
Judge Jenkins parents divorced in her 9th grade year. As a single parent, her mother demanded academic excellence from all five of her children and encouraged extra-curricular and civic involvement. Judge Jenkins was quite active in her community in high school and college. She was introduced to women’s prison ministry as a junior in high school through an all-girls organization, the “Action Club.” Her sense of civic responsibility and activism became more pronounced in college when she participated in her first voter registration drive as a member of “Young Adults for Positive Action” (YAPA). Her summer jobs were as a Page in the Louisiana House of Representatives and State Senate. In graduate school, she served as an Administrative Assistant to the Field Director for Common Cause Louisiana.. At LSU, she was active with the Black Student Association and Student Government Association. In law school, she served as president of Women In Law.
Judge Jenkins’ transition from law school to lawyer was so quick that he did not have time to secure housing prior to her first day on the job. She was a boarder in the home of a family friend where she shared her space with “Fluffy” the dog until she moved into her place. Her center of gravity in the City has always been Gentilly. She started in Fairmont Park with Fluffy, moved to Gentilly Heights and eventually purchased her home in Gentilly Terrace and Gardens. It is in Gentilly where she became active in her community by serving as Chaplain of the Gentilly Ridge Neighborhood Association, volunteered as a LEAP Tutor at Gentilly Terrace Elementary School, joined the efforts of Each One Save One, and the Black Women’s Health Project of Louisiana. Her residency of course was interrupted after Katrina when she relocated to Atlanta. Upon her return to New Orleans, she had a brief stay in Algiers Point before she settled back in Gentilly.
If Judge Jenkins is not participating in a teaching event, volunteering, or conducting a Law Camp, she is working in ministry. Minister Jenkins is a licensed minister at First Emanuel Baptist Church. She joined First Emanuel within a year of locating to New Orleans to begin her career as an attorney. Street ministry and youth ministry were her passions early in ministry. She eventually served as youth director for over a decade. When she relocated to Atlanta after Hurricane Katrina, she took advantage of the opportunity to begin her seminary studies. She worked full time while attending seminary. Minister Jenkins was so committed to completing her studies that in her last year of seminary she had commute to satisfy her final hours for her Master of Divinity.
Minister Jenkins’ ministry responsibilities over the past 31 years include curriculum development and writing, teaching, preaching, and Sisters of T.A.M.A.R., a ministry for women and girls who have experienced violence. She facilitates the women’s Retreat, E-PREP: Empowering Women through Prayer, Restoration, Expectation, and Promise. Additionally, Minister Jenkins has served as a member of the board of trustees, youth, young adult and adult Sunday school and VBS teacher, and co-chairs the Church’s annual Night Out Against Crime block party. Early in ministry, she was honored as “Woman of the Year.” She is active with the United Baptist Association, Inc. (UBAI) Women’s Ministry where her Pastor, Rev. Dr. Charles Joseph Southall, III serves as the Association President.