When guidance counselor Jessica Peterson came into Jasmine Walker’s Life Prep class in freshman year, her talk about the importance of clubs prompted Walker to join no less than seven school organizations. Now a senior, Walker has narrowed her tastes, and says she couldn’t be happier.
One of the best parts of her high-school experience has been her three years as president of the Poetry Club. Poetry has always been a passion of hers. She’s particularly fond of Allen Ginsberg and T.S. Eliot (“The Hollow Men” is a favorite). In her sophomore year, she helped host the club’s first Halloween open mic, moving it from its former status as a vehicle for the Poetry Out Loud competition to an active school club.
Though the club lacked funds at the time, the outcome of the event was worthwhile. The day is a favorite memory of hers.
Walker is also co-president of the Environmental Club. As a child, she wanted to be a zoologist. She says her grandpa, a Sioux Native American, raised her with the belief that nature is sacred. “Everything in nature has a soul,” Walker elaborates. “I really respected his beliefs on that.”
Her study in AP Environmental Science last year reinforced Walker’s love for the natural world. If people stopped investing in slaughterhouses and instead worked to redistribute seeds normally used to feed those animals, she said, it would be possible to end world hunger. “I’m a vegetarian, and in the future, I hope to convert to being a 100 percent vegan,” she said.
This empathic attitude dovetails well with Walker’s future ambition to be a dialectical behavior therapist and help kids and teens put an end to their self-destructive behaviors. Walker plans to get her doctoral degree in the field of psychology, joining a family full of medical professionals.
Walker has also developed a love for track and field. Discus is her event of choice. One disc in particular, which she has dubbed “Nina Penny” for the NP written on it, is her favorite. She uses it for every meet, and plans to buy the disc from the school and replace it with a new one when she graduates.
“I just feel happy to throw with her,” she said, laughing.
Walker is open to new experiences, and her goal this year is to learn how to swim. She and her boyfriend frequented Moriello Pool in an attempt to learn to swim before her family’s second trip to Jamaica this summer.
“It would be very fun if this year I could go scuba diving with everyone else,” Walker said. In the meantime, she’s looking forward to an involved senior year. In the times of change to come, she knows she will not forget what she loves.