Outstanding mentor at Ike
Now a senior at Eisenhower High, Jasmine Blue has been an Ignition mentor for three years and was recently honored as one of about 70 outstanding Oklahoma mentors during the sixth annual Oklahoma Mentor Day.
As a shy freshman, Blue was mentored by upperclassmen and the mentors "helped me see things in a bigger picture, like finances and planning," Blue said. "They helped me plan out my future goals for myself and we did a budget plan" simple things that students in high school pay for.
Blue decided during her freshman year to become a mentor. The program, which has been at Eisenhower High for six years, is a peer mentoring program that freshmen are required to attend so they can acclimate to the sometimes confusing high school years. While in the program, freshmen also learn the importance of service to others in their school and in the community.
"I realized how much fun it could be and that I wanted to get a lot out of it," she said. She also wanted to become a mentor because "I just love helping people."
For the past three years, Blue has mentored more than 50 freshman, helping them set goals and being there for advice and help. Blue was surprised when Ignition program director Michelle Churchwell nominated her for the mentor award.
"I selected Jasmine to represent Ignition as our outstanding mentor because she embodies the mission of our organization," Churchwell said. "She treats every freshman as though they have value and potential. She forms authentic bonds with every freshman she mentors, and she motivates them not only to be successful but to give to others who are in need of compassion and understanding."
Churchwell added, "She has been mentoring for three years. I looked and the senior first when it came to nominating someone and selected which one was most active in the program. ... Jasmine always takes on anything that needs to be done."
Mentoring changes everyone involved
"I think Ignition is the only club in this school that will literally change your life," Blue said, explaining that change not only happens to the freshmen, but it also to those who become mentors. Being an Ignition mentor "is not a 'girl thing.' There are plenty of guys in Ignition; anybody can join and Ignition will change your life."
Being a mentor for three years has changed Blue's life.
"It has given me a different perspective of their lives because it wasn't hard for me as a freshman like it is for them. (Some of them) have some serious family, mental, psychological, social issues," Blue said. "It opens your eyes to the fact that everyone has problems and you can't just look over them. You have to acknowledge it and let them know Ö (that) I've possibly have gone through the same things and you can talk to me."
The experience has modified her future goals.
"I still want to be like a research scientist. But my plan B is to be a teacher because I realize, after the years of being a mentor, I have good qualities as a leader," Blue said. "Teaching has taught me to present information to kids under my age in a way they can understand and relate."
Although she could think of many instances she felt she made a difference in a freshman's life over the years, last semester Blue found out she had made a big difference in a student's life.
A freshman was being bullied by two people on social media the student's ex and a friend and the student was taking the bullying very personally.