Friends Select Student News Media

The Falcon

Friends Select Student News Media

The Falcon

Friends Select Student News Media

The Falcon

Jasmine Gibson, Here to Stay

Jasmine Gibson, Newest Guidance Team Member

Jasmine Gibson, the newest member of Friends Select’s guidance team, became a permanent member of the faculty this year as the school’s social worker.

Jasmine, a North Philly native, received her degree in social work. “Social workers have a code of ethics that isn’t common in the helping professions,” Jasmine stated. Social workers address clients’ needs holistically and think about structures and how they affect their clients. She loves social work because there’s an aspect of activism and radicalism in her practice. Social work “advocates in a way that’s critical to power,” she explains. 

Jasmine is passionate about social work because of its malleability. “There are always questions about which way it should go,” Jasmine says. Jasmine has been hitting the ground running with her new position here. 

She has a lot of training and experience in the field of mental health counseling and in really diverse settings, and her bringing this background to the team is great,” said Natan, the Upper School psychologist. 

Jasmine is a pioneer as the school’s first Black woman to work on the guidance team at FSS. “There have never been any POC support specialists (mental health professional and/or learning specialist) as part of the Upper School Guidance Team before Jasmine,” said Gabby Kenny, an Upper School counselor.

Jasmine has a different perspective on what mental health could be. She wants to provide a different outlook on what it could look like at Friends Select.  Jasmine hopes to create “a community-emphasized view [with] a focus on healing”. This school year, she would like to bring in speakers with different perspectives on mental health. She wants to provide perspective on mental health from a “qualitative and social movement standpoint.” Jasmine specifically hopes to create conversations about “liberation psychology.”

Last school year, there was hearsay among students about how long Jasmine would be here to stay at Friends Select. “It was a… temporary position,” Jasmine stated. “[There] was a need for me to be here, and I’m grateful that the temporary position was extended into something that’s more long-term. I’m just happy to be here for a full school year.” Now, she’s here to stay. 

“It’s really a gift to be able to come in every day to students who are willing to learn and passionate about what they believe in and to prepare the next generation for whatever is coming in this world is an honor to me,” Jasmine stated. If she could change something about Friends Select, she would gear spaces more towards students and their needs. “A student-dedicated space for stimming, relaxing, self-regulation, and for getting re-centered would be cool.”

Jasmine had plans of designing landscapes before designing structures to assist clients; she was a landscape architecture major at Temple, but she switched to Political Science. “That was really empowering to me because it was something that was really big in my family. My grandma used to tell me that I couldn’t watch TV until I read the newspaper,” Jasmine stated. Her family is big on being “in the know”, and having that family background combined with being a PoliSci major was very helpful when it came to Jasmine’s speaking on current events. After she received her masters from Temple, she went to Hunter College for her social work degree. ”Their program is very social justice oriented, so it tied into my bachelor’s program [and] my passion of working with people,” Jasmine stated.

Jasmine had professors at Hunter who brought real-life experiences into the classroom. Jasmine was able to have internships as she was working toward her master’s in social work. “Some of the texts we read in the first semester were Stone Butch Blues by Leslie Feinberg and Sister Outsider by Audre Lorde,” said Jasmine. These texts describe different peoples’ narratives that expressed a “power from below”. The way those texts were discussed in class was related to how she conceptualized relationships with her clients. 

Jasmine also has some words of wisdom for the class of ‘24. “Always look for connections with other people, I think that people are really amazing in the sense that people can go through a lot of things, but the only reason that any of us are alive is because someone took care of us,” said Jasmine. Another piece of advice was to stay open to opportunities.

As someone whose profession is centered around wellness and wellbeing, Jasmine practices wellness herself. “I do therapy… I also exercise. I had to get over my own inhibitions around exercising and movement, but I do yoga, I do weights, [and] cardio. I also like to have a generally fun life outside of school. Outside of work, I go to concerts, I go to parties, I read, I dance. I like to go vinyl shopping, see movies, and go shopping. Shopping is a big one – retail therapy,” Jasmine stated. 

If you need Jasmine, her office is in the library – the first room with the brown door.

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About the Contributor
Zoie Jackson-Lawrence

Zoie Jackson-Lawrence is a senior at Friends Select School; she has been here since 2017. This year she is covering Friends Select’s Visual Art and Language departments for The Falcon. She is co-leader of Sistah’s Chat and leader of the Gardening Club. She enjoys scrolling through her pins on Pinterest, listening to all 158 of her playlists on Spotify, and tending to her garden.  

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