We are excited to announce the Spring/Summer Semester winner of our $500 academic scholarship, Jazmyne Cason, a student at Cornell Law School. Learn more about her proudest achievements and academic and career goals.
Jazmyne Cason: It’s a bird. It's a plane. It's Jazmyne. My name is Jazmyne Cason, I’m a 21-year-old who recently earned my bachelor’s degree in political science at the University of California, Berkeley. Additionally, I will be continuing my education by joining the legal community at Cornell Law School in the Fall of 2022. I have always aspired to become an attorney, so this is just one step closer to having my dreams become a reality. Outside of academics, I love to go on walks and hikes, read fiction novels, and bake.
Regarding my personality, I appear as a well-rounded young woman who people describe as “bright” and “smart,” yet when alone the self-doubts arise and the feelings of being incompetent consumes my head. These insecure feelings began to fester, and I discovered this quiet self-doubt is a coping mechanism for the fear of being misjudged.
From a young age, I was consistently admonished by my family for stating my opinions and beliefs. In return, I always felt like the black sheep of the family and that somehow whatever I said or did would be taken out of context. Having to mentally prepare myself for negative comments every time I opened my mouth left me with little to say. This feeling of misjudgment is where my passion for writing came in as a source of an accurate portrayal and expression of who I am.
My passion for writing became advantageous for my position as a general intern for Berkeley’s Black Pre-Law Association. The internship allotted me the chance to put my passion for writing towards community outreach efforts by coordinating and writing proposals to bridge the gap between the undergraduate pursuit of law and legal learning opportunities for Black and underrepresented students. This position as a general intern became a larger blessing than it was initially intended to be because within this internship was a community that helped me find my voice.
As a child, expressing my opinions was deemed disrespectful. As a teenager, I was called spoiled for discussing topics that upset me. As a young adult, communicating my opinions runs the risk of being perceived as the stereotypical angry black woman. All of which left me wondering if it would ever be appropriate for me to express myself and not receive backlash.
However, I now realize I must stop seeking approval from others because my opinions and beliefs have always been valid. Therefore, I want to contribute to the legal community by giving a voice to those who feel as if they have been silenced by systemic injustices. Specifically, those who feel as if they are the black sheep in our society and feel as if they are being misrepresented by our current system.
One way I plan to do this is by representing clients of low income and minority status through pro-bono legal services. This will give me the chance to grow in my involvement with racial inequality and how economic disparities hinder some individuals from receiving adequate representation. Overall, my internship gave me a new sense of empowerment to be a part of efforts to fight for people’s voices to be heard in the same way I wished that someone would have fought for my voice and needs.
Interested in applying to our scholarship? Learn more about our requirements and apply today.