Jasmine Banks’ love for music drives her community service and academic goals. She started volunteering with the Tabb High School band in 2015, helping with the percussion section during marching band season. During that same year, she enrolled at Thomas Nelson Community College to pursue an Associate of Arts degree in Liberal Arts with specialization in Music.
Banks aspires to become a middle school band teacher and credits Thomas Nelson for pushing her one step closer to that goal. “Thomas Nelson helped me by providing me with the instruction and faculty necessary to help me get into my four-year university,” she said.
She will continue her music studies at Christopher Newport University (CNU). Thomas Nelson students who earn an associate degree and achieve a minimum grade point average are guaranteed admission to many colleges and universities in Virginia, including Christopher Newport University.
Banks says Thomas Nelson not only prepared her for success at CNU but also gave her the opportunity to hone her music skills as a member of the College’s concert choir. She also benefited from TRiO, a federally-funded college success program for students who meet low-income requirements, are first-generation college students or have a disability. “TRiO helped me by always keeping me on my toes. They were the support I needed when it came to grades and getting ready to transfer,” Banks said.
She passed those lessons on by serving as a peer mentor. “I became a peer mentor because I know what it’s like to have no idea how to navigate not only Thomas Nelson, but college in general,” Banks said.
She completed her studies at Thomas Nelson in 2017 and recommends the College to others interested in higher education. “Not only is [Thomas Nelson] a good school to start getting people ready for university course work, but it’s a great place to start focusing on yourself and seeing all that you can do in and out of the classroom,” Banks said.