Jasmin Washington named one of the five 2011 Liberal Arts Fellows
A hop, skip, and a jump—the triple jump is Jasmin Washington’s forte on the UNH track and field team. It looks like child’s play, but it’s all about strength, speed, and concentration.
Washington, from Waltham, Mass., has brought that same discipline to her academic and extracurricular pursuits at UNH.
nonetheless, Washington came a few days late to attend the CONNECT program for new first-year and transfer students of color. “And Connect is the best thing to have happened to me while being here,” Washington says with a laugh. “I loved it and that’s why I decided to become a CONNECT mentor. My first year as a mentor, I worked with Thompson School students and that was cool. I learned about that program and could be there for those students in a peer-to-peer relationship.”
Washington eventually became a CONNECT senior staff member. This step-by-step development is similar to her projected career path, which is to become an elementary school teacher with the long-term goal of going into administration.
The choice to become a teacher has been a thoughtful one for Washington, whose major is sociology with a deaf studies minor.
“I have lots of experience with kids, both in my family and extended family from diapers to the oldest, who’s about 14 now,” Washington says. “Also my aunt is a teacher in an inner city school in Boston. And the work she does has inspired me.”
Right away Washington took Education 500: Exploring Teaching. “I couldn’t wait to get into the classroom,” she says. “My host teacher was great. We discussed the students and their needs. Now that I’ve taken more education classes, when I go home I can identify some of the developmental stages of my cousins.”
Next year, Washington will pursue her master’s degree in elementary education and intern at Garrison Elementary School in Dover, N.H. “Every morning they do schoolwide exercises in the gym—run by the principal and gym teacher,” Washington says. “When I talked to the teachers about their work day, they said, ‘Well, we usually stay after for Zumba.’ So, it’s all about community.”
Here at UNH, Washington has contributed to many community organizations, including the Black Student Union, the Big Brother Big Sister Program, and The Sisterhood events. In 2010, she was awarded a Movers and Shakers Leadership Award in recognition of her leadership skills.