November 16, 2009 - Growing up in a single parent household and working in the fields alongside her mom, Jasmine Banuelos learned the importance of hard work early in life. But in opposition to cultural beliefs that a woman should remain at home cooking and cleaning, Banuelos' mother instilled in her a desire to go to college and pushed her in that direction at every opportunity.
"My dad left when I was five years old so I think my mother knew it was important for me, as a woman, to shape my own future and be more independent," Banuelos said. "It was never a question that I would go to college and get an education. It was always a given."
Despite those desires for her daughter, as sometimes happens in the teen years, conflict between Banuelos and her mother forced Banuelos to move out at age 17 while she was still attending Ridgeview High School. She moved in with her boyfriend, finished high school and enrolled in California State University, Bakersfield's College Assistance Migrant Program (CAMP).
"CAMP helped me get over my fear of going to college. College was such a huge jump from high school," Banuelos explained. "In high school you have a routine every day - go to school, do your homework, and go to bed. But in college, you are totally responsible for your own destiny. It can be overwhelming, but CAMP helped me overcome that feeling."
After she came to campus, Banuelos immersed herself in student life to get the most out of her college experience. She became involved in MEChA and student government, working hard to increase her responsibilities and build a network of support for herself along the way. It is that network she credits for her own personal success.
"Marina Avalos-Kegley, student activities director, and Maria Escobedo, CAMP program director, have mentored me all along and are huge influences on my life," Banuelos said. "While at CSUB, they have helped me to become a leader. I have developed skills, built networks and my shaped own identity thanks to their leadership and guidance."
For the future, Banuelos' immediate goal is simple. "First, I need a car. I am saving and should have enough by February. I have never had my own vehicle so I cannot wait," Banuelos said. "I will enroll in the master's program fall quarter and continue working toward my goal of impacting others and leading by example. My ultimate goal is to one day be a university president, and my experiences at CSUB have given me the skills to do all that and more."
Banuelos will receive a bachelor's degree in business administration during commencement ceremonies on Monday, Nov. 30 at 1 p.m. in the CSUB Icardo Center.
For more information:Commencement
Media ContactColleen Dillaway, Director of Public Affairs & Communications