On to the Next Chapter

Rainier Scholars’ Jasmine Delgado-Guerrero has a lot to celebrate. She’s graduating high school this year, and in the fall, she’ll be heading off to the University of Rochester on a full-ride scholarship. “Whenever I tell anybody where I’m going after high school, I always like to mention the full-ride scholarship because that is such an accomplishment for me to be able to go to college without having to worry about the money. Education in itself is a privilege, and I feel honored to have the scholarship from Rochester.”

For Jasmine, high school has been a whirlwind of schoolwork, Rainier Scholars, an internship with Teens in Public Service, and sports, including soccer, gymnastics and track and field. She counts almost breaking a six-minute mile, going to district sports championships, making new friends and, of course, getting her driver’s license, among her many highlights.

Jasmine’s time with Rainier Scholars has been integral to preparing her for the journey ahead, both in academics and beyond. “It’s helped me be more knowledgeable about the college process and my ‘professional persona,'” she says. “I also found a lot of support from Rainier Scholars in feeling more confident about the choices that I make. They continuously remind me that my education is mine and that I get to decide what and how I learn in school. My education is the one thing that nobody can ever take away from me. Advocating for myself is something that Rainier Scholars has really taught me.”

Jasmine applied to 11 universities in total, was accepted to seven and waitlisted at two others. The University of Rochester, where Jasmine will be majoring in psychology, stood out for its scholarship offer and its emphasis on research. “I’m really looking forward to pursuing research, studying abroad, and working with children especially. Being in touch with my roots and connecting with other Hispanic and Latino cultures is so exciting to me.”

Of course, with big changes come big feelings, especially since Jasmine is the first in her family to attend college so far away. “I definitely feel a mixture of excitement and anxiety. Rochester is super far, I mean, across the country. But it’s also exciting. I’ve thought about going out of state because I’ve felt enclosed in Seattle. I want to see other people’s perspectives of the world, and Rochester is also big on community. As long as you find your people, whether culturally, academically or intellectually, you can do anything. You just need to find community and stay grounded in it.”

But first, she has high school graduation to look forward to. “As the years have gone by, I’ve seen myself grow out of my shell in the sense that I was really shy. I didn’t really like to talk, and I especially didn’t like to talk about myself or my accomplishments,” she explains. “I feel like the celebrations that come with graduation, whether it’s with Rainier Scholars, sports senior nights, graduation and grad parties, I like to be celebrated now. I like to be told that I’m doing a good job. It reminds me that I pushed through a lot of adversity and that I believe in myself. I know I have the potential to continue pushing through adversity, whatever I’m doing, in college and beyond.”