Meet Jazmine

Working Hard Pays Off

You get a good feeling when you hear an employer say, “Do you really have to go?” That’s the sign of a strong, hard-working employee – one that an employer hates to lose. And those six words are something Jazmine has heard from her summer employer the last couple of years.

Jazmine Mack is currently a preschool teacher for a Head Start program, but in the summers, she works at Virginia Tech in its Child Development Center for Learning and Research.

“This is my third year with Virginia Tech, and in the fall, I’ll be heading into my fourth year with Head Start,” she said. “Right now, I only have my associate’s degree, but I plan on going back to school to earn my Bachelor’s degree and get licensed.”

Working in the early childcare profession was a natural fit for Jazmine. Not only did she have strong family ties, but she had a couple aunts who were already in the profession, and she was inspired to follow in their footsteps.

“Growing up, I was always a mother hen to my family. Family is very important to me, and I always acted like a second mother to my little brother and cousins,” she said. “I enjoy watching kids grow and seeing their personalities develop. It’s so fun watching them learn in different ways.”

Jazmine earned her associate’s degree at New River Community College, where she received one-on-one support from her advisor and other faculty members, helping her every step of the way. Today, she credits her studies and her associate’s degree for giving her the tools needed to make her life easier in the classroom on a daily basis.

“The classes helped me a lot. There have been times when I’ve had to step up and be the lead teacher, and when I get put in that position, what I’ve learned has helped me have the confidence to be in charge and do the things I need to do,” she said.

As for her work at Virginia Tech, her director seconds Jazmine’s sentiment about stepping up and getting the job done.

“My director at Tech has asked me to stay, because the people who come from the New River program are very prepared and hard workers,” Jazmine said. “She has two other staff members who studied at New River, and she talks about how the program has helped them be great teachers in the classroom.”

Sounds like Jazmine’s hard work in school have paid off in the classroom, and beyond.