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Yasmin grew up with a strong, single mother, who herself wasn’t able to receive a high school education, in a community surrounded by drugs, gangs and one of the highest homicides rates in Chicago. Her mother’s strength and courage showed Yasmin that although the odds may have seemed stacked against her, she must focus on her education and bettering her community. She graduated as valedictorian of her high school and said: “If you envision yourself negatively, you will never move from that state of mind. But if, on the other hand, you challenge yourself and engulf yourself in optimism, you will radiate.”
She was a student athlete on the track and field, cross country, and volleyball teams, served as the student to represent her school during City Year service events, and was involved with a community service sorority/fraternity for all 4 years of high school.