Valedictorian Jasmin Jaimes
2016 Immokalee High School Valedictorian Jasmin Jaimes is continuing her college career at UF next year, pursuing a double major in psychology and communications. She hopes to one day work with a non-profit organization or work abroad in needy communities.
Jasmin has been attending FGCU through its ACE Dual enrollment program during her junior and senior years and graduated from I.H.S. with a weighted GPA of 5.449; unweighted 3.96.
Of her high school years, Jasmin said, “I loved going to school in Immokalee. I truly believe we have a strong sense of community and unity, which I highly value. I’ve had the opportunity to grow-up with some pretty amazing people and influences. I have been blessed to have superb teachers these past years. But there are three who I would like to especially thank. The first of which would be my first grade teacher, Mrs. Hirt. If is wasn’t for her willingness to take me from her lowest reading group and place me with her highest group, I don’t know if I would have done as well in school. Her confidence in me was the first push towards the path I followed in my education.
Additionally, Mr. Boddison and Mrs. Novotny from IMS were both extremely influential teachers. They both helped push and challenge me to do better and strive for more. I learned so much not only about the course material, but also about myself in their classes.”
She continued, “I have always had a passion for learning. The challenge and satisfaction that comes from tackling a new subject or concept has always appealed to me. I appreciate the effect education has on my perspective of the world and the people in it; it opens my mind to the countless opportunities and possibilities out there.
Additionally, it allows me to better myself in order to better the lives of others through my future career and ventures.
“I enjoy being outside and participating in service. I played in the Varsity Golf team for four years in high school, and was the team captain this year. I have also had the pleasure of being a part of numerous service clubs in high school. I served as the Key Club president in 11th grade, the Project Unify president this year, and (was) a leader in the Cultivate Immokalee Project through the 1 BY 1 Leadership Foundation this year as well.”
Jasmin is the daughter of Abel Jaimes and Sandra Perez-Jaimes. She added, “I would just like to say thank you to everyone who has supported me throughout my education, and that I am deeply grateful for their help and guidance.”
Salutatorian J’douna Pierre
J’douna Pierre is the 2016 Immokalee High School Salutatorian.
She also started early admission (dual enrollment) at Florida Southwestern State College her junior year of high school and earned her AA degree at the end of this semester from FSW! She graduated from I.H.S. with a weighted GPA of 5.34; unweighted 3.86.
J’douna will be attending the University of Florida this fall where she plans to major in Psychology and French and stay on a Pre-Law track. She hopes to become a lawyer so she can help minorities in poor communities by providing adequate and affordable representation. Her ultimate goal is to open her own law firm.
J’douna shared her feelings about her high school alma mater. “The best part about going to IHS was the school spirit and the pride that everyone had. I loved the excitement at school pep rallies and games. Most importantly I met amazing people and made life long friends.
“I would especially like to thank Coach Bridgette Toombs. For 4 years she coached me in Varsity Volleyball, Basketball, and Track and Field. Personally, she helped me become more of a leader on and off the court. With her guidance I learned to speak up more and become a role model for my teammates. She pushed me on the court to become a better player and that drove me to excel in the classroom. Her support made my high school experience a success.”
She added that her biggest motivator in getting an education is her family.
“I witnessed my parents and grandmother working extremely hard daily in the fields and agricultural packing houses in Immokalee. They ultimately sacrificed their future so that my sisters and I could make our dreams into realities. I strive for a bright future because I want to make them proud. My goal is to help my family and community out of poverty and the first step is to receive a great education.
“I love sports and in high school I played 3 varsity sports. (Volleyball, Basketball, and Track & field). I also was a member of the Beta Club, National Honor Society, Immokalee Foundation, and an after school tutor in the Guadalupe Tutor Corps Program. I enjoyed volunteering in my community and I plan to continue this throughout college and afterwards.”
D’jouna’s parents are Joseph J. Pierre and Denise Pierre.
She would also like to say to her community, “I want to thank God for the blessings He’s put in my life. I know I would not be where I am today without His guidance.”
The Immokalee Bulletin is published every Thursday.