Jasmine Mallen, Class of 2015

Jasmine Mallen at podium

My name is Jasmine Mallen and I am currently a junior here at USD majoring in Sociology with minors in Spanish and Business. I am proud and lucky to say that I am from this beautiful city of San Diego, more specifically, Logan Heights. This neighborhood may not be the richest in San Diego financially, but it is definitely in the running for being the richest in culture and community. Growing up in my neighborhood has helped me to see everyone as an equal human being. People who are called “the bottom” of society are just as important as those at the top.

I consider myself extremely blessed for the education I have received in the past because of the sacrifices my mother has made. I graduated from the Academy of Our Lady of Peace, which is an all-girls, Catholic, private high school. I graduated with about 120 girls who were fully prepared for college. Being a college prep high school, college was constantly discussed. I actually was not too certain on where I wanted to go. I knew that I loved San Diego but I thought maybe it would be a good idea to try out another city. Well this thought went out the window when I began to learn more about USD. First of all, it has a beautiful campus. The class sizes are small, it has a number of clubs to join, and it has a variety of community service options that shows USD’s commitment to bettering the community. There are also numerous ways to uphold my Catholic faith such as attending one of the many weekly masses. My mother also loved the school and wanted me to attend, so how could I say no?

So far, my experience here at USD has been nothing but positive. I have grown so much as a woman and a student at this university. For the past three years I have been a member of Students Support Services and Mecha. I have also been involved with the USD rec center. Being involved with these activities has allowed me be a part of the USD student community. To contribute to the larger community outside of USD, I have taken part in community service by tutoring. I have tutored students from kindergarten to 12th grade. I did the tutoring at Kearny High school which is up the street from USD, and at the Monarch School, which is located in downtown. The Monarch School is unique because the majority of the students are homeless. Although they are aware that school and getting good grades is important, it’s not the first thing that is on their minds. Those students are facing more struggles right now than many of us at USD will face in our entire lives. I think that it is important to recognize that and do what we can to help others reach their full potential. I hope that with my degree in Sociology, I can better the community. I want to work for the city of San Diego and make sure that programs such as the Monarch School continue to be funded and help the future members of our society.

Personally, I have benefited from programs that aim to help low income students. I have been blessed to receive the amount of financial aid that I do. I am sure that I would not be here today of it wasn’t for the help of financial aid. I am also lucky that I happen to work in the USD Financial Aid Office in the Hughes Administration building. I have had this job for three years and I couldn’t be more thankful for it and for the people I work with. It is a positive work environment and I couldn’t ask for more.

I want to truly thank all of you donors from the bottom of my heart. You are contributing not only to our personal future, but to the future in general. You are making such a difference and I am so thankful that I have the actual opportunity to say thank you. Thank you for helping me with me education, Thank you for being generous and proactive, and thank you for being here today.