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Tuesday, September 26, 2023

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Jazmyn Horton Jazmyn Horton

Inspired to Lead

SDSU Imperial Valley graduate student Jazmyn Horton is inspired to lead by the influential women in history that came before her.
By SDSU News Team

“As I continue to learn, my passion for helping people grows and motivates me to expand how I can be of service to others.”

Jazmyn Horton knows the Imperial Valley. She was born and raised there, received a bachelor’s degree in psychology from SDSU Imperial Valley in 2018 and is currently a graduate student in SDSU Imperial Valley’s Masters of Social Work program.

“I had a great experience during my undergraduate years, but so far my experience on the graduate level has been even better,” said Horton.

Horton, who is expected to graduate in May 2023, also serves as president of the Students of Social Work Association (SSWA) and elections coordinator for SDSU Imperial Valley Associated Students (A.S.).

Getting involved on campus was crucial for Horton, not only for networking and volunteering opportunities, but to help facilitate change.

“Student organizations are critical when we think about change,” said Horton. “If you are passionate about a certain area or cause, seek out a club on campus that already exists and if not, start one yourself. I promise that there are other like-minded students that want to get together, be vocal and have a presence on campus and out in the community.

Horton spoke with the SDSU News Team to discuss her passion for social work, her campus involvement and women in history that have inspired her.

What interests and motivates you about social work?

I have always been involved in community service and volunteer work so going into the area of social work felt very natural for me. As I continue to learn, my passion for helping people grows and motivates me to expand how I can be of service to others. I'm particularly interested in working within the school system or in policymaking.

What inspired you to get involved with SDSU Imperial Valley Associated Students and how has it impacted your life?

I am serving as the elections coordinator for Associated Students this academic year and it has been such an interesting experience. This is an organization I have never looked too much into or thought I would be part of but an opportunity opened, and since we are all online at the moment, I decided to take advantage. It has been awesome to learn about A.S. and have a role in one of the most important aspects of student life- electing officers. 

You are president of the Students of Social Work Association. What motivated you to take a leadership role in the student organization?

I actually went into my master’s program focused on just passing my classes, but after talking with my peers in our cohort, taking on a role in SSWA was a no-brainer. As for being president, I really was not expecting to take on the title, but I ran with it and have been rewarded a million times over. We do incredible things within SSWA but we also create a family environment where we build friendships. This association has been able to do amazing things in the short time I have been on the board. I feel honored and so proud that I get to work with my peers, staff and my community on such a personal level. 

Who is someone you consider influential in your life and why?

The most influential person in my life has always been my mom. She raised two kids by herself, she is an awarded teacher in our community and works very hard to provide the best education for her students. She overcomes difficulties with grace which has set an example for who I want to be and how I want to carry myself. She has always supported any decision I make for my well-being and continues to push me towards my goals. 

March is Women’s History Month. Who are the women in history that inspire you? 

There are so many women who have inspired me from childhood to present day. Women like Maya Angelou, whose poetry I used to memorize in high school; Marie Curie, who inspired a middle school project I did on important women in history; Stacey Abrams and Ruth Bader Ginsburg, for making political history in our country; and Frida Kahlo, who helps me connect to my Mexican roots and inspires my creativity. 

Where do you see yourself in five years?

It's my hope that in five years I'll be a licensed social worker working in a school district locally, creating and implementing policies that benefit the K-12 students. Our children are the future and deserve to be educated correctly, fully and with quality services and resources. I may be somewhere completely different than that, but I know you'll find me helping and serving people no matter where I end up.