Jasmine Won, double majoring in Elementary Education and Spanish, is a rising student leader invested in positive social change and eliminating barriers to equality. She has built community around peaceful protests and has mobilized her peers to engage in our democracy. Jasmine is actively involved in cultural student organizations and environmental justice initiatives at Bridgewater State University (BSU). As a first-year student, Jasmine actively immersed herself in civic engagement work as a Justice Fellow, assisting with the implementation of BSU’s civic action plan to enhance voter education and increase student voter registration. Jasmine began her civic engagement work in her local community by participating in protests to support the Black Lives Matter movement. Additionally, she served as a poll worker and conducted exit polls during elections. She is currently working to ensure her peers are well-informed and well-equipped to participate in civics by creating space for dialogue and information sharing. She will use the Newman Civic Fellowship to expand her civic knowledge and repertoire of strategies to elicit civic engagement in the community and foster positive social change. Jasmine reflects the very best of BSU and she embodies the hope, motivation and drive needed to be a successful changemaker.
It is a core belief of mine that civic engagement is a duty and a responsibility of a United States citizen. As a daughter of first-generation immigrants, voting and other civic duties are personally important because it was instilled in me to recognize the privilege of having those responsibilities. I grew up highly interested in American government and politics because these systems have greatly affected me and my family and continue to impact us as citizens. I believe, by critically researching and exploring the root causes of social problems, we can address the issues that impact our communities. I intentionally choose to engage in opportunities that will advance my knowledge of justice and civics. As a first-year student, I served as a Justice Fellow where, despite COVID restrictions, I have been able to hold critical conversations virtually with peers and have provided trusted resources to guide them towards civic action. I have found that my involvement in peaceful protests, text banking to get out the vote and communicating with my representatives have been highly effective strategies to initiate change. Collaborating with others through social media campaigns, protests, and civic engagement can create comprehensive solutions to public problems.