Jasmine Thomas, East Side High School
Born and raised in Newark, Jasmine is a 2017 graduate of Newark Vocational High School at West Side Campus. Prior to attending Newark Vocational, Jasmine attended Speedway Avenue School, now Speedway Academies, for elementary school. When Jasmine reached high school, she was initially interested in playing soccer; however, when she was approached by the East Side High School athletic director to play hockey, she immediately jumped on the unique and historic opportunity in front of her. The only African American on her team, Jasmine played hockey for East Side High School for four years as a goalie. She is also a member of Hockey In New Jersey (HNJ), an organization that inspires youth to develop life skills, succeed academically and create positive relationships through the sport of hockey. In addition to playing on the HNJ’s girls hockey team, she also serves as a mentor and volunteer for younger participants in the program across Newark, Englewood, and Jersey City. Moving forward, Jasmine hopes to continue to provide assistance in recruiting more girls to join both hockey programs.
This year, Jasmine is one of four recipients of the 2017 New Jersey Devils Alumni Association Academic Scholarship, receiving $1,000 that she plans to utilize to pay for her college expenses. She will be attending Essex County College in the fall, with plans to transfer to Montclair State University where she will major in education and play college ice hockey, hoping to ultimately become a Child Life Specialist and work with children who are hospitalized. As Jasmine embarks on the next chapter of her educational journey, she has left short but powerful advice for her fellow classmates, which embodies her own story both on and off the ice: “Don't be afraid to be different. Leave your mark.”