A Better Me: Jazmin Diaz (12)

We’ve all explored Club Rush and gone to many club interest meetings that we ended up never joining. We do, however, join at least one club. The thought of adding more clubs to our extracurriculars may be overwhelming for some students, but not for Jazmin Diaz (12).

When Jazmin was a freshman at Grove, she never expected to be involved in so many clubs as she is now. She shares that she “wanted to be involved in everything, but nothing really attracted [her] so she took a leap of faith and joined a couple of clubs. [She]’s glad [she] did because right now it’s easier for [her] to list [her] involvements on [her] college apps.”

Out of all the clubs she has joined, MECHa remains the club that speaks to her the most. Jazmin has always been proud of her Hispanic heritage and believed MECHa was a perfect opportunity to showcase that very pride, especially during Noche de Altares (Night of Altars), an event based on el Día de los Muertos. It was the event that Saturday night that “changed everything for her because of the process of creating an altar with other MECHa members at the time. Since then she has dedicated herself to the club which helped grow her sentiments of pride, love, and respect for her culture and the club.” After helping during this event she felt extremely motivated to promote the club and ran for an officer position, growing from Treasurer to Co-President to President of MECHa. But what attracted her the most about the club was the sense of community it gave off within the members: “everyone was okay with each and we always had something to say.”

Other than MECHa, Jazmin is also in Class of 2018. At first she wasn’t really in the club. “I joined the club on a whim but decided to take it a step further and ran for an officer position, which I got as secretary.” She immediately discovered a love for Class of 2018 because of the members. “Working with them during events like Homecoming was an awesome process, seeing everyone work together motivated me to also work as hard. The process is great because of the positive atmosphere everyone worked in. It’s a great influence for all of us.”

Out of school, Jazmin also trains in martial arts ever since she was in 6th grade. Although she felt out of place in the training center because she was the oldest, “she stuck with it because she enjoyed it, and over the years, she gained a profound love for martial arts. She loved going to the center and enjoyed training with her sensei until she was sweaty and bruised.” Just learning the different skills of defense, weapons, and proper form was “a really great experience, and if anyone would ever come to me, I’d be prepared to defend myself.”

Her martial arts training taught her more than just physical strength; it taught her mental strength. She shares that “There is a lot of self-discipline. You have to be strong willed throughout the process. Something valuable her sensei taught her was not flaunting her skills just to appear cool in front of others- no. Be humble, remain humble.” Her sensei was a huge influence for her, reminding her to remain focused on the true objective of the sport: working on oneself.

Unfortunately, she hasn’t been able to train as much this year due to school, but she’s gradually getting back into it at any opportunity she can find. However, her sensei did give her the opportunity to teach a class that taught her “to be patient because it takes a little longer to get them to understand the forms of defense. They’re also teaching me while I’m teaching them.”

Aside from her club activities and training, Jazmin is an advocate for individualism and “wants people to use their voice, say what they want through their chest and say it loud and proud. Don’t be afraid to stand up for what you believe in, even if it’s different from what others believe in. Not only for yourself, but for others who are not as comfortable with themselves and not as outspoken.”

Although Jazmin is a really outspoken person and was voted Senior Best “Most Likely to Fight for a Cause,” she is still learning about herself and trying to become a better version of herself. She struggles to prioritize her own happiness over pleasing others as she “puts their feelings above hers because she likes making them happy.” She is still learning to be comfortable with herself.

Someone may seem secure with themselves because of their involvements that allowed them to find themselves, but it doesn’t apply to everyone like Jazmin.

And that is okay. Jazmin says, “Don’t be afraid of making mistakes because they help shape you to become a better you. It may take longer than others but we’ll get a version of ourselves we feel comfortable with.”