Jasmine dropped out of high school and was struggling with addiction when she first came to Heart of Oregon YouthBuild. She remembers waiting nervously for her interview, thinking to herself, “I’m way too small to build a house.” But that’s just what she did. Jasmine thrived at YouthBuild, not only building affordable homes with her peers, but also gaining sobriety, earning a high school diploma, and getting her driver’s license. Thanks to her determination and hard work, these accomplishments only took Jasmine one year.
Jasmine is fearless. She doesn’t shy away from speaking about her YouthBuild experience, even in front of a crowd of adults. These days, Jasmine has taken on a new role at YouthBuild, working as the AmeriCorps Community Partnership and Volunteer Coordinator. She is also taking classes part time at Central Oregon Community College, pursuing a degree in nursing. Connecting with new cohorts at YouthBuild comes easily to Jasmine, as she can relate to their experiences and circumstances. As a young person who commuted an hour from Madras each day to attend program, she knows what it takes to succeed in YouthBuild and encourages youth stay committed and make it through the year. When asked what YouthBuild means to her, Jasmine passionately replied, “It means family. They’re going to help you out no matter what.”