Jasmine Jackson carriers herself with confidence and a can-do attitude. She is an entrepreneur and business owner. She is a leader and an educator.
Life didn’t seem so straightforward for Jasmine when she was a teenager. Her temper sometimes got the best of her and caused conflict with her peers. She struggled to find a sense of purpose and place. She fell into a deep depression.
“I was looking for a job desperately,” Jasmine said. “I was on and off the bus looking for a job in the cold and in the summer when it was hot.”
A family friend facing the same situation told Jasmine about Easterseals YouthBuild. She had some doubts but decided to give it a try, knowing it would help her complete high school and provide paid work experience.
“I checked it out. I was like, I don’t know, construction? I’m a media chick. I don’t do this. I’m not going to pick up a hammer and swing it,” Jasmine recalled.
It wasn’t a smooth start for Jasmine, said Chris Miday, a construction manager with Easterseals. The temper sometimes flared and resulted in fights with other students.
“We knew she had such drive and such potential, so we coached her a lot,” Miday said. “She came in driven, but with no real career path. There was nothing that she was really working towards. YouthBuild gave her a very succinct path toward success.”
YouthBuild gave Jasmine a foundation in carpentry, proper tool usage, safety, and a variety of other construction skills. When she completed YouthBuild, she advanced to Easterseals’ Building Value program where she joined the deconstruction crew and gained additional customer service training.
A breakthrough moment came for Jasmine when she earned a six month internship with a major building company. “I learned a variety of trades. If you can name it, I did it: electrical, plumbing, carpentry,” Jasmine said.
Jasmine's supervisors were so impressed that they offered her full time employment. She worked four years doing labor and carpentry.
She then decided to launch her own business leading construction safety training. She even provides the OSHA-10 safety training for current Easterseals YouthBuild students who can look to her as a role model.
“She gives them something to strive towards,” Miday says. “If you put your mind to it, if you get your education, there is a path out of poverty and you can look just like her. Successful and earning your own living with a bright future.”
Jasmine earned a degree in construction management from Northern Kentucky University and currently has her sights set on expanding her safety training business.
“I wanted to work and needed to work, Easterseals and the staff surrounded me with resources, challenged me, inspired me and made me the person I am today,” Jasmine says “I would ask them what I would need to do and I would do it. They helped me with everything.”
Your gifts to Easterseals allow us to develop more innovative programs to guide people on the journey to self-sufficiency and employment. In 2018, the collective earnings of those served by Easterseals totaled nearly $11 million! That is money that is being reinvested back into Greater Cincinnati businesses and into our community.
Be the Breakthrough Moment for someone like Jasmine looking for their opportunity to experience the pride of employment.