New London teen to become first in her family to attend college

New London — It is with a mix of nervousness and pride that Jazmine Silva will be attending classes at Connecticut College in the fall.

She’s the first in her family to have the opportunity or means to attend college and doesn’t take the responsibility lightly. Her parents, Maria and Carlos Silva of New London, are Peruvian immigrants, and they’re mostly scared, says the beaming 17-year-old standout from New London High School.

They don’t quite know what to expect but should rest easy, if Silva’s academic career and service in the community are signs of things to come. She also won’t be far from home.

Silva, who is bilingual, has excelled during her career in New London High. She holds a 4.50 grade point average with a rigorous course load while juggling a host of extracurricular activities. She’s a member of More Than Words, a regional diversity leadership group, the Multicultural Club and Student Government.

She has played softball and was a member of the swim team, ran cross country and participated in track and field. Earlier this month, she was honored as a Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference Scholar Athlete, for her exemplary academic and athletic career, a student whose “whose personal standards and achievement are a model to others, and who possess high levels of integrity, self-discipline and courage.”

On Wednesdays for the past four years, Silva has walked the hallways of the high school in uniform. She is the third in command of her unit of the Naval Reserve Officer Training Corps. Silva describes it as a leadership group that performs community service projects — things like beach and school cleanups.

She was inspired to join by an aunt who was involved in the program.

Silva is still plotting her course in life but continues to raise the bar for herself.

“Coming into high school, my goal was to always graduate. My main priority was to do what I had to do to graduate. Now, my goal is to graduate from college and become a professional in any career I choose,” she said.

She plans to focus her studies on psychology, with the possibility of becoming a child psychologist.

“Honestly, I think it’s cool, the human mind, our different emotions and behaviors and how we interact with others. And I like working with children,” she said.

Not only does she volunteer with children at her church, but Silva said she used to help her mother when she worked with the special needs students at the Friendship School in Waterford.

A proclamation read earlier this year when she was named student of the month earlier this year reads, “Wherever Jazmine attends for post-secondary education, we are confident she will be an excellent ambassador of NLHS.”

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