Schreiner students making a difference here and abroad
Kerrville, TX – Jazmin Williamson came to the U.S. from Haiti at the age of six, adopted by a family in Center Point, TX. She was, for the most part, home-schooled by a family who recognized the value in her love of reading and lovingly nurtured it. Jazmin treasured her memories of Haiti and maintained, with the help of her adoptive family, ties with her family there. An incredibly talented artist, she keeps some of those memories alive and shares them with others through her drawings and paintings.
Do not be fooled by her small stature –she is one hundred pounds of remarkable determination. She has an unrelenting desire to regain her native language of Creole. She has taken three semesters of French, the last one as a one-on-one course due to her phenomenally tight schedule of schooling and work.
Jazmin came to Schreiner University hopeful to gain a nursing degree and to return some day to Haiti to help the people there. Conflicted by the desire to give aid and her love of arts, she struggled to find a path that would tie these two together. While studying at Schreiner, Dr. Krisanne Muskievicz, assistant professor at Schreiner and Vesalius Living and Learning Community Coordinator, helped her discover the mixture of the arts and healing. She found herself moving more toward fields of social aid and began to look at paths toward the U.N. and changed her degree to that of Public Health. Always carrying a heavy class load at school, she still found time to work.
All this work never got in the way of her volunteering in her community and abroad, by providing aid, helping in clinics or promoting health education and support. She served as a link between different communities and she learned much from people of many different backgrounds. Going back to Haiti, working in Guatemala and visiting Italy were all experiences that added to her understanding of how she could become an agent to link people and provide aid.
Jazmin took a study abroad course in Italy in which she was exposed to international commerce and economics. Awed by the vastness of the world and her desires to do work which would benefit many, her path was reinforced.
She set out immediately to find courses for study abroad that would fit this endeavor. She found a course in Switzerland that served as a gateway to those who want to eventually work at the UN or The World Health Organization. She was greatly aided in this endeavor by Thomas Woods, Coordinator of Changing Global Society at Schreiner, who assisted her in both finding options for study-abroad as well as means to pay for them. Fearful, when she discovered costs to be as much as seven to ten thousand dollars, Woods assisted and guided her with applications and by reviewing her essays for grant funds. She was successful, and she works to prepare for the course in Switzerland every day. She is a student, more determined or willing to work, and she pushes forward no matter how steep the hill ahead appears.
On Nov 25, Jazmin received the U.S. Department of State’s Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship in the amount of $4,500. This highly competitive national scholarship aims to encourage students to study and intern abroad in a diverse array of world regions in the hopes of providing its recipients with the skills critical to our national security and economic prosperity.