Centro Hispano

Jasmine Valadez, Class of 2016

Major: Biology and English Literary Studies

Heritage: American, Puerto Rican, Mexican, and Spaniard

Hobbies: fencing, reading, group fitness classes with friends, playing with my dogs, talking with people, baking, and recently gardening

Organizations Involved: 
UNCW Fencing Club (President 2014-2016), UNCW Pre-Veterinary Medical Association (Fundraising and Publicity Chair 2014-2015, Vice-President 2015-2016), UNCW TriBeta Biological Honor Society.

Where do you work?
Currently, I work in lower management at a retail store, also as an Independent Consultant for Jamberry, and after graduation at a local veterinary hospital.

What are your top 3 accomplishments?

1. Continuing to further my education. I am the first in my immediate family and the only one on my mother's side to graduate from college. I have made it through illnesses, surgeries, financial setbacks, three long distance moves, and I still managed to get through it. It was hard and I wanted to quit so many times; I am not even sure that it is has set in that I will have my third degree after this.

2. Getting back into fencing and placing 5th, 3rd, and 3rd in local competitions. I was a varsity fencers all 4 years of high school, so I was really excited to find out there was a fencing club here at UNCW. I have spent the past 2 years working with others to re-build the club and were finally apply to purchase some of our own club equipment. 

3. Completing my Veterinary Assistant Certification.

What’s after college?
After graduation I plan to apply to Veterinary Programs, work, enjoy reading books for pleasure, start paying off my loans, and have fun.

Dream Job?
As of now, my dream jobs are, working in an emergency veterinary hospital and as a veterinary for our military dogs and other service animals. 

Any advice to the generation rising at UNCW?

My advice to the rising generation is that, you - whoever you are, wherever you are from or going - YOU are an evolving character. It is okay to change. It is okay to reinvent yourself. Working to stay as you are, in a stagnant state is useless to you. Try new things and take risk, even if they are seem small. This is the time to figure out who you are right now, who you want to be tomorrow, and who you may want to be in few years time. Don't waste this time, because life will rarely, if ever, afford you the opportunity for growth, as you will find in your high school and college years. Remember to have fun with the process.

More importantly, I advise you to FAIL. Fail over and over again, and do not be afraid to do so. I do not write this to make you feel better or be a cliché, because it is true that failure is how you grow, but you can only grow from your failures if and when you try again. I speak from experience when I say, you will be holding yourself back if you let the fear of failure take root. I have had some of my greatest laughs trying and failing at something new, but I did it again, and eventually I was more and more successful. 

Lastly, say thank you when you are thankful and mean it. Gratitude and thanks go a long way. People remember hearing thank you and being appreciated for their efforts. You can start right now with your support group, even if YOU are your support group. I thank you, for reading this, and I thank you, for your youth, because it inspires me to move forward and have hope for what is to come.

"It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it" - Aristotle

"You can pry my oxford comma from my cold, dead, and lifeless hand." - unknown