Jasmnika Newbern of Benton Harbor was named Michigan Youth of the Year by the Boys & Girls Clubs of America. Newbern will be honored during the club’s celebration of Boys & Girls Clubs Week April 14-18.
Jasmnika Newbern a senior at Benton Harbor high school. She is the class president, active in national honor society, and plays varsity softball. She is also a JAG student and has been for the past two years. “I joined JAG my sophomore year of high school under the leadership of Gabriel Bridgman.” “We worked on projects such as heavenly hats for cancer patients and participated in food drives for Christmas and Thanksgiving.” Jasmnika also recalls an earth day project cleaning up around her school. “As the JAG class president I am planning the senior breakfast and dinner.” “I have led the class with various mentoring programs and fundraisers.”
Jasmnika feels that participating in the JAG program at Benton Harbor has given her high self-esteem, leadership skills in addition to employment skills.
Newbern said she believes her helping to coordinate a Peace Rally and Peace Walk in May and June of 2013 helped her to win the award. She said she was inspired to promote peace in Benton Harbor after fighting between students and community members near Benton Harbor High School made the news earlier that school year. “When they were doing all the fighting, there was so much negative news about Benton Harbor,” she said. “I just wanted something positive.” The peace walk made a difference the number of fights at the school has diminished. Jasmnika plans to help coordinate another Peace Walk on the last day of school, June 6.
Newbern’s future plans are to attend Michigan State University and hopes to one day start her own business helping people.
The photo of Jasmnika Newbern courtesy of the Herald-Palladium in St. Joseph, MI.