Jasmine Delgado, 20, first became homeless at age 9 when she spent five months at a shelter in Connecticut with her mother. In 2013, Jasmine moved in with her father when her mother left for Lowell. When her father told her he needed to find somewhere else to stay because he could no longer pay rent, Jasmine called her mother. Jasmine and her three year-old daughter, Jenadie, moved to Lowell last February to stay with her mother in a single room. This single mother had just returned to Massachusetts from Connecticut, determined to create a better life for herself and her daughter.
Jasmine managed to get her GED on August 3, 2017 and earned the Student of the Year Award upon graduation. She discovered Community Teamwork’s YouthBuild Program and soon became part of a new emerging Culinary Training program. Through this program, Jasmine has helped to grow Community Teamwork’s Farmers’ Market and has become a tremendous resource to the culinary instructor. Jasmine’s leadership and professional skills have grown tremendously. She has become an invaluable part of the culinary program. Jasmine helps to bridge the gap between the instructor and the students in the program. As our culinary intern, she has supported other students through tutoring, encouraging their participation, and as a role model for professional growth. She received her OSHA 10, NCCER, SERVSAFE and allergen training and
is now a part of the ACF (Accredited Culinary Federation) curriculum and will be receiving an accredited certificate for culinary. She is currently working as an intern with Two Chefs Catering and will be starting another internship with Cobblestones Restaurant in the near future. In addition, Jasmine was chosen the 2018 YouthBuild AmeriCorps Spirit of Service Member of the Year.
Though she has overcome many obstacles from a young age, Jasmine was afraid that she could once again find herself in a shelter. “I’m scared because they tell me I can be placed anywhere in Massachusetts,” she said. “That’s the thing that worries me because my daughter has been going to the same school for a year and I want her to stay at the same school and I don’t want to change things. I want her to have that stability.”
With the help of Community Teamwork, Jasmine was able to get her first apartment this past July and was thrilled to celebrate her daughter’s 4th birthday in their very own home! With first-hand knowledge of being homeless and living in a shelter, she took part in panels with other homeless youth during a Youth Homelessness Summit hosted by Community Teamwork this past June. The day-long event was part of CTI’s new concerted effort to tackle this issue.
Jasmine has had her daughter enrolled at the Parker Avenue site since June of 2017. While attending the program, Jasmine has
been able to receive transportation services through the school. Jasmine’s daughter was enrolled at the Parker Avenue site because of their transportation needs and where they were living at the time. When the family moved in to their own apartment in June, Jasmine was able to transfer her daughter to a new center while also keeping her transportation. This was very important to Jasmine as she has no other means of transportation. Now at the Houlares Center, Jasmine’s daughter is transported to and from school. With her daughter being at school every day, Jasmine is able to continue her work in both of her internships.
Jasmine exemplifies the ideals of hard work, perseverance, commitment and follow through. She has learned the personal benefit of these qualities and has adopted them into the very fabric of her life. Jasmine stands out as a leader and role model among her peers but it is her strength and her positive spirit that shine through.
April 22nd is Earth Day! Below is a list of all sorts of things you can do to make a difference on the planet, in your own lives, and for your loved ones.
– Commercially grown produce travels far distances equaling lots of fuel burned and fewer nutrients for you.
– Grow your own produce when possible.
– Shop local farmers markets. Lowell’s will open this summer at the Lucy Larcom Park. See this listing of those in surrounding towns.
– Non organic produce is grown using pesticides, synthetic fertilizers, ect. Organic animals do not take antibiotics or growth hormones.
– Remember: non organic produce is always better than no produce! Check out this list of organic foods to try.
Be a chef
– When you cook your own meals and eat at home you are reducing consumption of packaging and plastic cutlery. Try a new recipe.
Try to eat less meat
– Eating more plant based food is good for the environment, healthy for you and cheaper!
– Start by going meatless on Mondays.
Re-useable water bottles
– Oil is required to make bottled water and we barely recycle them leading to clogging of landfills.
– Carry a reusable bottle and refill it.
– Pass up the drive thru and plan a picnic, turn off the TV and go for a family hike, skip the coffee date and go for walk together.
Rebecca Foulkes, BS, CLC
Lowell WIC Program
February, the month of love, chocolate, roses, teddy bears, and fancy dinners is upon us. Yes, this is a great distraction from our very busy, hectic lives which we all need sometimes. However, what we need now more than ever is a healthy heart. Eating up all of those caramel and peanut butter filled chococlate hearts will not get you there. February is National Heart Health Month! So you wonder, how can we keep our heart in great shape so that our lives are longer and more fulfilling. There are many ways. So look in to your heart and think about what you eat, how often you exercise, and what you are putting in to your body. Your choices may be doing more damage than you realize.
Be more mindful of the food choices you make. Food can be medicine. Get back to the basics and eat real food- the foods we were meant to eat and digest. Eat less prepackaged and processed foods like frozen meals, hot dogs, deli meats and fast foods, and sugary drinks and snacks. Eat more fruits and vegetables, lean meats, and WHOLE grains.
Exercise regularly. Exercise can lower blood pressure, reduce stress, reduce cancer and diabetes risk, build healthy bones, muscles and joints. All of which can lower your risk for heart disease.
Don’t smoke. Smoking greatly increases your risk, as well as those who ingest your smoke, for heart disease. When you smoke you are inhaling toxic metals, cancer causing chemicals and poisonous gases.
Keep your heart in the best shape you can so that you can give your loved ones many more special Valentines days to come.