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“The Jack Kent Cooke Foundation saw my potential to be a leader. They saw that I was committed to achieving the best for myself and that I was a well-rounded and well-spoken young lady.”
Highlights of Young Scholar Experience: Yasmine Arrington took full advantage of her Young Scholar status. A teenager with a love for poetry, she attended writing programs in New York State, New Jersey and North Carolina as well as a month-long summer music and dance program in New England. But perhaps her biggest thrill was traveling to Costa Rica for six weeks with her best friend and fellow Young Scholar, Ruth Abraham.
Profile: Yasmine is no stranger to life’s obstacles. Her father has been in and out of prison her whole life and her mother past away during the first week Yasmine’s 9th grade year, yet her strength, her drive, and her faith are unwavering. While many other people would have withdrawn from society, she took strength in her mother’s courage and the wisdom and love of her grandmother who now became her guiding light. “My mother’s death made me realize that life is too short to waste.” Yasmine became a Young Scholar in 2006 and graduated with honors from Benjamin Banneker High School in Washington, DC. She is now a College Scholar and a junior double majoring in strategic communications and history at Elon University in the competitive Elon College Fellows program. In addition to being a full-time student, Yasmine is also a plus size model, blogger, poet, and motivational speaker.
Inspiration: In addition to her grandmother and leaders at LearnServe International, an organization she volunteered at, Yasmine still looks up to a guidance counselor she had in Middle School. The counselor, Ms. Ahumado, is “one of the main reasons that I was able to make it through middle school and have confidence throughout my high school career.”
Aspiration: A career in journalism or communications awaits Yasmine. She also aspires to be a best-selling author and to have her own talk show.
Making a Difference: While she was in high school, Yasmine started ScholarCHIPS, a college scholarship organization for children of incarcerated parents. Since it was established in 2010, ScholarCHIPS has awarded eight scholarships totaling $11,000.Yasmine recently became the executive director of the non-profit organization. Working to further the mission of her foundation, Yasmine is conducting research at Elon University about the effects of incarceration on the education and success of the children of incarcerated parents.
Accolades: In addition to being a Jack Kent Cooke Scholar, Yasmine has also been recognized as an AXA National Achiever, an Abramson Foundation Scholar, a Washington Redskins College Success Foundation Leadership 1000 Scholar, a 2012 BET Black Girls Rock MA.D. (Making a Difference) Girl, and a Linowes Leadership “Unsung Heroes Award” Youth Recipient. She has been featured in Teen Vogue, Essence, Empower Magazine, and the Washington Post for her work with her scholarship organization. Yasmine is also the recipient of the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation’s 2013 Matthew J. Quinn Prize for her remarkable efforts with her organization, ScholarCHIPS.
Interesting Fact: Although her close friends may kid her about it, Yasmine still owns and holds dear her “blankie” that she was wrapped in as a baby. “It’s worn out and old, but I love it!”
George Washington University
Northwestern University School of Law