April 07, 2017
McDaniel College sophomore Jasmin Chavez of Falls Church, Va., has been named a 2017 Newman Civic Fellow, one of 273 student leaders nationwide recognized by Campus Compact.
She was nominated for the honor by McDaniel President Roger N. Casey for her passion for community engagement, social justice and volunteerism.
“Jasmin plans to serve her community by running for Congress in the future and hopes to be an inspiration to students who come from low-income backgrounds and are first-generation in their family,” Casey wrote in his nomination. “This past year Jasmin held STEM workshops in her community for children in elementary and middle school. Approximately 50 children built rockets, volcanoes and robots.
“They not only learned the importance of a career in STEM, but were empowered to stay in school and become leaders in their community.”
Chavez’s STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) workshops for at-risk youth from Falls Church’s Culmore neighborhood were supported by the Griswold-Zepp award she received from the College during her freshman year.
A double major in Political Science and Spanish, Chavez is founder and president of the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) student organization at McDaniel. She is also a Global Fellow and is currently serving as an advisory board member for the College’s Global Bridge program for U.S.-based students who were born or grew up abroad or are bicultural or binational. She is also a resident advisor for first-year students, an admissions ambassador and a senator in the Student Government Association.
In addition, she is one of only 50 students from across the country selected as a 2017 national fellow for the Young People For (YP4), a leadership development program for the newest generation of progressive leaders. Also during her freshman year, Chavez was one of four students from across the country selected to intern at the White House Initiative on Education Excellence for Hispanics. She also was honored with a silver Presidential Service Award in Washington, D.C.
“The passion that burns in my heart with vigor is the passion that only comes from serving others,” Chavez says in her personal statement. “I grew up in an underserved community in Fall Church, Virginia, and I saw the inequalities and the lack of resources that were available to the students of color at my high school.”
As a freshman in high school, she created the STAR program for other low-income students.
“Today, this program still stands, and 60 students have graduated from the program since I first founded it in 2011,” she says. “Approximately, 80 percent of the students have gone off to pursue higher education.
“It is in my heart to help my brothers and sisters. I do not just want to lead alone; I want them to lead with me.”
According to Campus Compact, the Newman Civic Fellowship is a one-year experience emphasizing personal, professional and civic growth. Through the fellowship, Campus Compact provides a variety of learning and networking opportunities, including a national conference of Newman Civic Fellows in partnership with the Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the United States Senate. The fellowship also provides fellows with access to exclusive scholarship and post-graduate opportunities.
The Newman Civic Fellowship is supported by the KPMG Foundation and Newman’s Own Foundation.