BELPRE – The declaration “When you have confidence, you can do anything” by Sloane Stephens is something 14-year-old Belpre High School freshman Jasmine Wright (Madison) is striving to prove.
Although young, Wright has many ambitions and she is well on her way to achieving them all.
She is a Straight A student, in all honors courses, and is tackling College Credit Plus courses through Washington State Community College.
After high school, Wright plans to study law and work to become a prosecutor or a judge.
“At eight years old, the field of law sparked my interests, then I started looking for future jobs”, she says. “I want to stand up for others who have been hurt and continue to use my platform to help others.”
One of the ways she strives to achieve this goal is through Belpre’s mock trial team.
During a mock trial, students spend the day interviewing witnesses, rebutting and opposing a provided case.
Wright explained that they are gathering evidence for one side, while another school is working on the opposite angle.
“It has been several years since Belpre had a mock trial team and we were lucky to have a large core of students to revive the team”, said Belpre superintendent and team legal counsel Jeff Greenley. “Jasmine was one of our lawyers and showed great composure and a strong sense of entitlement throughout the process.”
Greenley said she also helped mentor junior high students as they worked for their first competition next month.
“She has a bright, cheerful disposition and is ready to help in any way – we are so proud of her work this year,” he said.
At school, she is also the freshman student council president, cheers, and sings in the choir.
“As part of the student council, we help with different projects to keep students involved in the school culture,” she says.
One example Wright gave was when she worked with others to organize a student-staff volleyball event before the Christmas break.
“I enjoy many parts of the student council; a lot of hard work goes into fundraising and planning, but it’s definitely worth it to see others having fun at these events after the fact,” she says.
Wright has participated in both cheer and choir for three years now.
“I am so grateful for the time management skills I have developed through encouragement,” she says.
Wright explained that unlike other sports, Joy lasts two seasons and as such is a HUGE dedication.
“Jazzie is a hardworking young lady and a great person to be around,” said Kirsten Hannah, Belpre Varsity Cheer coach. “As a cheerleading coach, I can see Jasmine pushing herself and her teammates to become not only better cheerleaders, but better people…She’s someone you can count on for yourself. get out of your bubble and make you smile.”
Outside of school, Wright enjoys entering pageants, volunteering, and modeling as an ambassador for Elizabeth Michaels in Vienna.
“I have been doing competitions since I was a baby” says Wright. “Competitions have taught me to be confident and comfortable with who I am. If the judges crown me, that’s exactly who I am for; I’m not perfect but I don’t pretend and I continually strive to be worthy of the titles I receive.
Some of the titles include: 2015 Little Miss Belpre, Teen Miss Belpre (her current title), 2019 Mid Ohio Valley Multi-Cultural Festival Preteen.
“I think pageants have a lot of stigma around them because on TV all you see is glitz and drama, but in my experience the people involved are nice, in I’ve met some of the best people through contests and will continue to do them for as long as I can.
Wright said the 2019 Mid Ohio Valley Multi-Cultural Festival Preteen title was special for her because that year her mother Jessica Madison won the 2019 Mrs. Mid Ohio Valley Multi-Cultural Festival.
“It was really fun to be able to compete and reign alongside my mother,” she says. “Obviously she’s always been there by my side, but this time we could do parades and other pageant duties together.”
It was noted that they were the first mother and daughter to reign together for the festival.
Similar to the pageants, Wright said being able to act as Elizabeth Michaels’ ambassador to Vienna also helped build that confidence.
“It’s a fun time modeling for them,” she says. “I love doing it because I feel like the best version of myself and I’ve met other girls who I’ve made lasting friendships with.”
Going hand in hand with her love for pageants and modeling is her love of service.
“I’ve volunteered with many people doing different jobs, but some that really stand out in my mind include Safetytown (where she spends two weeks in the summer teaching and bonding with kindergarteners) ; distribute food with regional ministries; bring donations to people (such as blankets to nursing homes and teddy bears to agents for children on call); help with the “Better Schools for Belpre” campaign and the Wood County Society Telethon,” she says.
She picked up the blankets in November to distribute to care homes and will pick up the teddy bears this spring.
“A lot of people in care homes said they hadn’t seen their family in a while, and I was glad I was able to surprise them and brighten their day a bit,” says Wright.
The Wood County Society Telethon is on Sunday.
“Each year, the ‘Be the CHANGE’ Telethon is the Wood County Society’s largest fundraising campaign,” Wright explained. “Those who donate help provide individuals with the opportunity to participate in programs such as Camp ECHO, Wood County Society Summer Speech, Adapted Aquatics, American Sign Language Classes, Wood County Society Temple Challenge, the Mid-Ohio Autism Network, Benefit from the resources of the new Collaborative Art Center, Artbeat Studio, and several additional resources offered in our community, including the Special Assistance Program and the Assistive Technology Program.
Wright said some of those opportunities really opened his eyes to different things, like with ministries, where many of those who needed help were parents just trying to feed their children.
Wright recounted how when the pandemic hit, she remembered hearing about all the food aid that schools and churches were putting in place, and it made her realize that there are probably a lot of her peers who are included in the difficulties.
With her future ambitions in mind, her volunteer work with a municipal campaign helps paint a complete picture of who Wright is.
“I think it’s really important for young people to get involved and stay informed not just about ‘big elections’ but local elections, to help their communities thrive,” she says.
Madeline Scarborough can be reached at [email protected]