Jazmin Nikol Krystian Faulkner
Wetumpka High School
Jazmin Faulkner, a senior at Wetumpka High School, maintains a 3.5 GPA. In her nomination of Jazmin as a Young Hero, family friend Wanda Woods wrote, “Those closest to her know her story, but many of her peers have no idea what she has overcome in her life.”
At the age of 1, Jazmin lost both parents, her unborn baby brother and her grandfather in a car accident. Jazmin lived with her grandmother in a trailer outside New Orleans following the accident. When Hurricane Katrina hit, they were unable to evacuate before the storm. They rode out the storm in the restaurant where her grandmother worked and lost everything in the hurricane. After the hurricane, Jazmin and her grandmother moved several times before ending up in Alabama where they often found themselves homeless. Eventually, Jazmin’s grandmother was no longer able to care for her, and Jazmin was placed in foster care at the age of 7. She lived in four foster homes in one year and attended seven schools by 3rd grade. Jazmin was blessed to be adopted by her foster parents at the age of 10.
Jazmin has a stutter that she has received speech therapy for since 3rd grade. Jazmin also has vision issues. This makes reading and other activities a greater challenge for her, but she doesn’t let this obstacle hold her back. When she was 8, it was also discovered that she had issues with fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination. She was placed in occupational therapy for a year and enrolled in baton and dance classes to strengthen those areas.
Among her many accomplishments, Jazmin has been a majorette for the Wetumpka High School band for four years, serving as section leader for the past two years. She was named the Elmore County Sports Medicine Student of the Year in 2020. Jazmin is a member of the Senior Beta Club, the Key Club, the Recycling Club and the Fellowship of Christian Athletes. She has served as historian and treasurer for FCCLA and vice president and president for the weREAD Book Club. She was also selected to represent her school at the Hugh O’Brien Youth (HOBY) Leadership Conference, Alabama Girls State and the Alabama Rural Electric Cooperative Youth Tour.
Jazmin spent last summer volunteering as an intern at Phoenix Rehabilitation and Health Services, Inc. She is an active member of her church youth group and often participates in local missions. Among her many endeavors, she volunteers with the Elmore County Food Pantry, The Shepherd’s Staff, the Montgomery Area Food Bank, the Christmas Clearing House, Toys for Tots and DHR. When the school was forced to close due to COVID-19, Jazmin was determined to complete a project her school book club started. She took the items home that the club had collected, and assembled and delivered 18 Easter baskets to the local DHR office. She was recently awarded the President’s Volunteer Service Award Gold Level through HOBY for completing over 400 community service hours from 2019 to 2020.
Ms. Woods wrote, “Jazmin has a spirit of grace and mercy unlike any I have seen before. She is one of those rare individuals who truly wants to see others succeed. She would sacrifice things for herself in order to help someone else in need.” For her perseverance in the face of multiple adversities, her generosity of spirit, and her dedication to the welfare of others, Jazmin is recognized by her school and our state as one of the five 2021 Young Heroes of Alabama.
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