My Story, by Jasmin Perez

Tuesday, November 7, 2023
PC Student Jasmin Perez

Jasmin at her ACE Program graduation ceremony, with her brother, sister, and aunt.

PC Student Jasmin Perez
PC Student Jasmin Perez

Jasmine with her dog Ruby.

PC Student Jasmin Perez

I was born and raised in west Phoenix, in a close-knit, multi-generational home with my sister and brother, my mom, aunts and grandparents, instilling in me the values of family and community.

Financial constraints have been a persistent burden in my life and the life of my family. My mother, who is a single-parent, struggled to provide support for me after I graduated from high school. Both of my older siblings had to abandon their educational dreams due to similar financial limitations, reminding me of the magnitude of the challenges I face.

At just 15, when I was a highschool sophomore, I took it upon myself to start working. My desire to lessen my family’s financial burden motivated me to contribute financially.  

I had various work experiences; in the food industry, then in retail, and I even worked in a warehouse. But it was my time working at a large national big box store that proved to be transformative for me. 

I witnessed firsthand the shortcomings in management, particularly concerning employee relations and mental health support. My own struggles with anxiety made me acutely aware of the need for workplaces that understand and care for the well-being of their employees.

These less-than-ideal experiences fueled my passion for Human Resources, a field where I aspire to create change and lead the way with compassion and understanding, which have often been lacking in my previous workplaces. My goal is to usher in an era where mental health challenges are recognized and supported, creating a workplace where everyone feels valued.

The pandemic heightened my anxiety and mental health challenges, underscoring the importance of my personal and professional goals. I understand firsthand the difficulties that individuals who struggle with anxiety face, and I'm determined to be a beacon of support and understanding in the workplace and in my community.

When it was my turn to attend college, I faced the daunting reality of funding my own education, and my initial plan was to work my way through school. My educational journey began in Phoenix College’s (PC) early-college ACE (Achieving a College Education) Program, which supports first-generation students.  After high school, I attended a state university, balancing a 40-hour work-week with a full-time academic schedule, which proved to be a real challenge, and I ultimately left school due to financial struggles. 

When I was ready to go back to school, I chose Phoenix College because of the affordability, supportive environment, and the encouragement of PC faculty and staff. I'm completing my degree in Organizational Management and Human Resources, and I’m on track to graduate in 2024. 

I want to be a shining example of turning life’s challenges into opportunities for growth and transformation for my siblings and cousins. And, I can’t wait to be an employee advocate and compassionate HR professional. 

In addition to my career aspirations, I’m dedicated to helping abused and neglected animals find safe loving homes, which brings me so much joy.  We all can make the world a better place, one act of kindness at a time.

My advice to anyone who has put their dreams on hold because they don’t think they can afford college, or they think they don’t have the resources to be successful, think again! There are resources – like scholarships and federal financial aid. And, the staff at PC are ready to help. 

Phoenix College has a lot of support services. Unsure about your academic plan or how to pay for college? Have questions about academic, career, and personal goal achievement?  Let PC help!  Visit, or call 602-285-7777.


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