Diving Deeper into Diversity

Diving Deeper into Diversity

Published: November 20, 2015

While grabbing a snack from a UW Bothell vending machine, Jasmine Johnson ran into some friends who invited her to a meeting. “I followed them into a classroom with students that were just like me.” This was Jasmine’s first introduction to the Black Student Union at UW Bothell. Eager to get involved, Jasmine says she quickly became a member. “This club has become a large part of who I am on this campus and has motivated me to make changes in myself and in my environment.” In addition to pouring her time into her academics, Jasmine has also taken on increasing responsibility with the BSU, first as secretary and then vice president.

However, Jasmine wasn’t satisfied with simply changing her local environment. This summer, she took part in UW Bothell’s two week study abroad program in Bloemfontein, South Africa to participate in a Global Leadership Summit. “Johannesburg was my first glimpse of South Africa,” she explains. “The only remarkable difference was that the demographics had shifted. I was no longer a part of the minority.”

The entire experience fostered engagement in the communities and in learning opportunities with other participants. Jasmine and the UW Bothell group painted a community center as part of a Mandela Day Community Service Project. She says she learned about social justice, racial healing, reconciliation, and digital storytelling – all knowledge that she now uses to enrich the learning environment at UW Bothell. She also brought back something else, “My number of Facebook friends are around 50 people higher and countries deeper because of the connections I made on my trip and the memories I will never forget.”

Jasmine is currently a junior at UW Bothell where she plans to study biology and pursue a career in physical therapy. “UW Bothell is continuously helping me in reaching my goals,” Johnson says. “All these experiences as an undergraduate have been developing the way I communicate and interact with people, along with bringing a strong sense of cross-cultural understanding.”