This week Surge is honored to highlight Jasmine Matos for Fearless Friday!

Originally from the Bronx in NYC, Jasmine is here at Gettysburg majoring in Health Sciences and minoring in Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies. She now finds herself in her last semester at Gettysburg College and is trying to make the most of it. She’s the Captain of B.O.M.B. Squad, a member of the Black Student Union (BSU), a member of the Latin American Student Association (LASA), and she works in the Admissions Office.

She started getting involved her sophomore year because she felt the strong urge to make a difference; not only that, but she wanted to leave her mark. When she entered into Gettysburg College her freshman year, Jasmine was pretty overwhelmed with everything around her. She was taking in the campus culture and trying to navigate her way through the social and academic spheres. As she started to grow in her college career, she noticed that the campus was not exactly what she wanted. Jasmine saw Gettysburg College failing to be more inclusive and celebratory of diversity. She was aware of how students of color were not always made to feel comfortable and how was the campus culture was not geared towards their needs and wants. Because of the issues of racism surrounding her, she decided to dedicate her time to making a difference. By participating in LASA and BSU, Jasmine has helped the voices of disenfranchised students be heard at Gettysburg and helped address the issues of racism that most want to gloss over. Jasmine believes that one must go beyond toleration and move towards active celebration. It’s one thing to passively accept one’s culture and background, but a more important thing altogether to actively inquire, celebrate, and educate oneself on another individual’s background.

With this attitude and outlook, Jasmine has made it possible to pave a pathway for future students of color to feel accepted at Gettysburg College. By pushing the conversation about race to the forefront of students’ consciousness, as uncomfortable and charged as this may be, an environment develops where all students feel included and celebrated. A key organizer of the Town Hall Meeting on racism last Thursday, Jasmine has most definitely accomplished her goal of making a mark on this campus. It is no doubt that she will keep this momentum going after she graduates. She plans on attending nursing school in order to help inner-city populations (especially women) receive the superb healthcare they deserve.

Thanks Jasmine for being a great role model and a Fearless Leader!