Trevon Jenifer poses for a photo during a Team USA Week shoot on May 23, 2022.
Watching Trevon Jenifer on the basketball court brings a lot of analogies to mind. The Saturday morning comparisons would be a cross between Speedy Gonzales and the Tasmanian Devil. He’s lightning fast on the offensive breaks and a whirling dervish on defense, more than willing to sacrifice his body in pursuit of the ball. He’s also that lurking moray eel you see on the nature doc but that the prey doesn’t, sitting back coiled, waiting to pounce.
That’s made him one of the best in the wheelchair game when it comes to stealing the ball and hustle plays.
Jenifer, a three-time U.S. Paralympian, serves his country off the court as well. He’s now going into his third year working for the United States Secret Service as a personnel security specialist in the Office of Human Resources, Security Management Division (SMD).
“It’s always been a dream of mine to be in law enforcement,” said Jenifer, who is originally from Huntingtown, Maryland. “Initially, the dream was to be a part of the Marines, but due to my disability from birth, that was not attainable.”
October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month (#NDEAM), created to recognize the important role people with a disability play in a diverse and inclusive American workforce.
While playing collegiately at Edinboro University of Pennsylvania, Jenifer majored in criminal justice, following up on that with a master’s degree in legal studies with a concentration in homeland security from California University of Pennsylvania, all while playing professionally in Europe.
“Growing up in the D.C. area, you see the news and the Secret Service and a lot of the security protective details around the president, so I thought that would be the next best thing,” Jenifer said. “All the other kids thought the FBI was the big thing; I thought the Secret Service was the perfect agency for me in order to be close to the mission.”
According to the Secret Service, that is, “an integrated mission of protection and financial investigations to ensure the safety and security of our protectees, key locations and events of national significance.”
Among other things, Jenifer’s job includes providing guidance and assistance to managers and employees on personnel security topics; interpreting policy, laws and regulations for the specific needs of various security programs, and providing recommendations for the adjudication of security clearances.
Now 34, Jenifer is no less a force to be reckoned with off the court as he is on it.