Midway through her summer between leaving Denny International Middle School and entering Chief Sealth International High School, 14-year-old Jasmine Smith has achieved something big – winning the “Spell It Like It Is” competition at a national summit for youth mentors.
The news comes from Denny principal Jeff Clark and from mentoring leaders Hazel Cameron and Donald Cameron from the 4C Coalition. They took a group of six youth, two mentors, and two parents to Orlando, Florida July 18th-21st for the National Alliance of Faith and Justice‘s 6th annual “Take a Stand to Keep a Seat” National Youth Mentoring Training Summit, held in collaboration with the 41st Annual Conference and Training Institute of the National Association of Blacks in Criminal Justice.
The official announcement explains that, “This summit/conference and training institute officially launched a multi-year national collaborative focus on the cooperation of law enforcement, incarcerated parents, mentors, and youthful stakeholders in reducing the ‘school to prison’ pipeline from America’s classrooms, particularly for African American males.” A key focus is preventing summertime “learning losses” when school is out, and that has led to the Pen Or Pencil Movement (POP). Jasmine studied for the “Spell It Like It Is” spelling competition as part of POP. Last year’s national winner was also from Seattle and also a 4C mentee, Rainier Beach High School student Savannah Bell. Congratulations to 4C, its mentees, and mentors!