It was Yasmin’s younger sister, Analilia (‘17), who first came to Chinquapin as a sixth grader. Her experience was so positive that their mother knew it was the right fit for Yasmin and was eager to have her girls attend the same school. So, happily, Yasmin joined the Chinqua-Family in the eighth grade.
Because her sister was already a Chinquapin student, Yasmin was familiar with the school; but she didn’t fully appreciate the rigorous expectations. Still, she thought Chinquapin was unique and a place where she could realize her goals of being fully prepared for college.
Yasmin formed a connection with Tricia Ratliff, Chinquapin’s project administration and safety director, as a National Junior Honor Society member. Tricia noted that Yasmin was a very dedicated N(J)HS member, participating in weekly meetings and community service projects. Tricia also remembers Yasmin as a bright and studious Burr driven to succeed and dedicated to her academics, even in middle school.
To meet the National Honor Society requirements, Yasmin improved her high school grades and was initiated into Chinquapin’s NHS! Tricia knew Yasmin could handle Baylor academics. Equally important, Tricia saw Yasmin’s big heart full of kindness, love, and compassion for others. It seemed she would fit in the Baylor community. Yasmin was motivated to go to Baylor and stick with it through college graduation.
Indeed, Yasmin felt very well prepared for Baylor after her five years at Chinquapin, where she learned strong time management and study skills that proved immensely helpful when she got to college, where the days were much less structured than they were in high school.
Yasmin’s Chinquapin friendships equally matched her academic experience. She has fond memories of Chinquapin sports (Yasmin played both volleyball and basketball), and she enjoyed deepening those bonds with her classmates as they traveled to and from games (and to and from campus each day, as she was a student before the girls’ dorm opened). In addition, the strong student/faculty connections made an impact. Yasmin recalls that [Spanish teacher] Martha Dilworth “was always a friendly face on campus.” Yasmin even wrote an Interact Club essay about friendship’s role in her high school experience.
Baylor University came into Yasmin’s sights after a visit to Waco early on in high school. She was drawn to Baylor’s beautiful campus and, coming from such a small school, liked the idea of attending (what was then) a mid-sized college. She also appreciated Baylor’s religious roots. Plus, it wasn’t too far from home, so she could more easily travel to visit her family. The only hitch was the tuition. Even with her numerous scholarships, Baylor was still financially out of reach. The Chinqua-Family and friendships figure prominently in the next phase of Yasmin’s life. Thanks to the generosity of several friends of Chinquapin, who recognized Yasmin’s talents and kindness, she could attend Baylor (the first Burr to become a Baylor Bear!). Yasmin earned a degree in psychology.
“I am so proud of Yasmin’s journey from Chinquapin to Baylor and to becoming an educational psychologist. She is already making a difference in students’ lives. She is an impressive lady who will continue to shine for both Chinquapin and Baylor.”~ Tricia Ratliff
Today, Yasmin is a Baylor grad student working as a bilingual school psychologist intern in Denver. She helps ensure students receive the necessary skills to succeed. Yasmin hopes to replicate her own Chinquapin experience by forging strong bonds with students and being the one who sees their full potential.