Meet Jasmine, an Alumna of Girls Inc. of Greater Philadelphia & Southern New Jersey, who shares how Girls Inc. helped her become a strong, smart, and bold leader in her own community and abroad.
Many of the core memories I have from Girls Inc. are tied to the community that I found among the other Girls Inc. girls, and many are also tied to the access I gained to spaces in my own city that I otherwise would not have. I remember attending the Pennsylvania Conference for Women, as only a high school student, and getting to hear First Lady Michele Obama speak. Equally as moving, I remember my opportunity to speak at the Strong, Smart, and Bold Breakfast for Girls Inc. of Greater Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey in the Union League. Through attending programming like this at Girls Inc., I was continuously pushed out of my comfort zone, and I believe that this has influenced my leadership skills today.
Where I am now
I just graduated from Brown University with a Bachelors of Arts in Public Health and Urban Studies. Before I continue my education at the Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University, I will be taking a gap year to teach English just outside of Paris, France through the Teaching Assistant Program in France (TAPIF). I will also be serving as a cultural ambassador.
Though my journey to becoming a physician is not yet complete, to be lucky enough to have secured acceptance to medical school as a Black woman is no small feat. I believe that Girls Inc. played an important role in my success thus far and my ability to have the opportunity to enter a career that has very few women, especially Black women. The road has not been easy, but the confidence and sense of self that Girls Inc. allowed me to develop are undoubtedly responsible for my success.
Advice I would give to girls, knowing what I know now
As cliché as it may sound, focus on being yourselves because everything will work out in the end how it is meant to be. There were so many times when I let external pressure and self-doubt convince me that I would never be where I am today, but in the end, staying true to myself and cultivating confidence is what continues to make me unique. When you focus on what you’re passionate about and stay true to yourself, you will always end up where you are supposed to be.
To every Girls Inc. supporter
To support Girls Inc. and its participants is to invest in the future. Beyond access to opportunities and skills, the network of support that Girls Inc. provides to young women is unique and so very needed in today’s climate. The Girls Inc. experience showed me that it is not always about the journey to your end goal but about those who you meet along the way, many of whom have made a great impact on me. I thank my Girls Inc. network for pushing me to be the best version of myself and shaping me into the strong, smart, and bold woman that I am today.