AES major Jasmine Smith Wins Castro-Naoe Family Scholarship

Submitted by Ellen Palms on
Jasmine Smith

Congratulations to Jasmine Smith for being one of the first recipients of the Castro-Naoe Family Scholarship in Honor of Nzingha, Nandi, and You.  An outstanding AES major and member of the board of Sisterhood, Jasmine will receive $2,000, to be applied to her 2022 Winter Quarter tuition.  

Here’s a short essay on her Husky experience:

My time at UW has been good to me.  To be honest, I was dreading coming to campus my freshman year because of how big it was and not knowing too many people.  But once I arrived, it was fun and eye opening.  I was able to grow, build new connections, and make lifelong friendships through networking in my classes, other clubs such as BSU and First Love Bible Study, and other events.

 At the end of freshman year, I decided to change my major from Astronomy to American Ethnic Studies, and I believe it has been the best decision I could have made.  I enjoy the classes and find all the knowledge interesting and informative.  On top of that, every AES professor is always welcoming to the students and expresses a lot of support.

 Transitioning to online learning throughout the pandemic had been a struggle at first because it forced me to become very disciplined.  For example, It was hard for me to wake up in the mornings and be focused without falling asleep.  It forced me to really hold myself accountable to make time for the things that were important, such as education.  All through freshman and sophomore year of school, I was able to find myself and grow into a young adult while being alone in a new environment.  My junior and senior years have helped me grow as an adult in other ways as well.  These times forced me to become uncomfortable where I was comfortable because that was the only option for personal growth.

 Being back on campus now, I feel like a different person because I’m not anymore that nervous freshman who was too shy to speak.  But now, I look at classes way differently and take everything more seriously because my final year is ticking down quicker and quicker as the days go by.  I have realized that it’s time for me to take in all the knowledge, utilize all my resources, and continue networking.  Being back again on campus, I have involved myself in more clubs and events as well to get my social life back on track.  I perform at open mic events put on by R.E.T.R.O. from time to time, I joined the board of Sisterhood, and I participated in events put on by the Black Campus Ministries.

 Having the opportunity to receive the Castro-Naoe Family Scholarship in honor of Nzingha, Nandi, and You, has been a blessing that has lifted a great amount of stress off my shoulders, financially and mentally.  I am very thankful and grateful for being chosen and it really reinforces that people outside of my inner circle truly believe in me and want to see me succeed.

-- Jasmine Smith