May 21, 2007 is a day that will forever be etched in the memory of Jazmin Carpenter, a finalist for the 2015 Richie's Spirit Foundation Significant Challenge College Scholarship Program. It was on this day that Jazmin's older brother, then 16, committed suicide.
"Unbeknownst to me, my brother had been a victim of bullying since elementary school," Jazmin wrote.
For the years that followed, Jazmin struggled with the loss, but became inspired by the difference just one person can make in the lives of so many others. Turning her grief into action, Jazmin soon began volunteering for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP). She believes that others can learn from her brother's story and his adversities and that she can be the change agent to creating different outcomes.
"The experience I have gained from the loss of my brother ended up bringing a world of positive change," she continued. "My grief has granted me the ability to properly emphathize with those around me, even if their problems are different from mine."
Jazmin, hailing from Anacortes, WA, plans to attend The University of Washington to pursue a degree in the social sciences. She remains an active volunteer for the AFSP, participates in Key Club, a volunteer outreach program, and is a member of National Honors Society. She is one of seven finalists for the 2015 Richie's Spirit Foundation Significant Chanllenge College Scholarship Program. Winners, to be announced in June, will receive a total of $3,500 in financial aid to future their educational interests.
To learn more about the Richie's Spirit Foundation College Scholarhsip Program, please click here.