Jasmine Banks

Name:  Jasmine BanksJasmine Banks

College: Oakes

Department: Psychology

What Award/ Scholarship did you receive?  I received the Dr. Aaronette White Award.

What year do you expect to graduate?  I expect to graduate in Spring 2021.

Where do you call home?  I am originally from the East Coast in Pennsylvania.

With all of the choices for college, what made UC Santa Cruz stand out?  For me, the rich history of student activism at UC Santa Cruz stood out to me when choosing a college.

What is your field of focus?  I am pursuing my bachelor’s in Psychology as well as my bachelor’s in Critical Race and Ethnic Studies with my specific concentration being the African Diaspora.

What do you hope to do once you graduate from UC Santa Cruz?  Once I graduate from UC Santa Cruz I plan to take a gap year or two before entering a Social Psychology graduate program where I hope to use my background in Critical Race and Ethnic Studies to research and develop ways to improve the mental health and wellbeing of marginalized groups, especially Black communities. During my gap year I am looking to pursue work in Higher Education within Student Affairs, doing work with either Resource Centers or Student Success Initiatives.

What is one memorable moment that stands out for you as a student here?  One memorable moment that stands out for me as a student here is my time working at the African American Resource and Cultural Center. Through my experience working there I was able to gain a new family and help serve my community. A specific moment that comes up for me was getting to be the Coordinator for the Black Grad Ceremony of 2020. Although the ceremony was ultimately virtual because of the pandemic, it was really beautiful to see the community still come together and celebrate Black excellence.

What is your one piece of advice for incoming students about life at UC Santa Cruz?  One piece of advice for incoming students about life at UC Santa Cruz is to not be afraid to take up space and to advocate for yourself—there are resources here for you and this university is yours to make your own.

How will this scholarship impact your academic life /research?  This scholarship will impact my academic life/research in that it will allow me to support myself in my journey of uplifting, serving, and growing with my communities. Being an out-of-state and first generation college student comes with many challenges and this scholarship will aid me in overcoming some of those challenges.

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