Graduation is traditionally a family event, one that draws family members together as everyone expresses pride in the new graduate and celebrates the milestone in life, reminiscing about moments together before this time and eagerly anticipating what the future might bring. For 2020 Mary Persons graduate Jasmines Moore, it will be a family event but both her mother and father have already passed away.
Jasmines, the youngest of three siblings, said she will miss having her parents share graduation with her, but she will be celebrating the support of her brothers, aunt and other family members and friends who have encouraged her as she worked to reach this achievement. Her mother passed away when she was 15, and her father passed away this last year.
Jasmines’ oldest brother, Brandon Moore, graduated from Mary Persons in 2012. He was known for his leadership role as drum major of the Bulldogs Marching Band. He stepped up to fill some of the parental role for his baby sister. His influence led her to become involved with the marching band, but with her love of dance, she found her niche with the band auxiliary rather than playing an instrument.
Brandon said he made a point of being at all her games, always cheering for her and her corps as it performed on the field at home and away games.
While her mother was ill, she and Jasmines moved in with Jasmines’ aunt, Juanita Pennington, and Jasmines has continued to live with her while she completed her high school graduation. She said she will probably move to her own place next year as she begins college at Middle Georgia State University in Macon. She plans to pursue a degree in nursing that will give her an opportunity to help others; she would like to be an emergency room nurse.
Jasmines completed the Healthcare pathway at Mary Persons. She said she wanted to try something new her sophomore year and after she tried the first healthcare class and liked it, she continued with the pathway. She said teacher Stephanie Carter was a good influence.
Jasmines grew up in Forsyth and has attended Monroe County Schools since kindergarten. She said she has always felt supported by the community and by the schools even when her parents weren’t able to be there for her.
“I tried to push her,” said Brandon. “I told her she can do anything she puts her mind to.”
He said he promised their mom he would do whatever he needed to do to help his sister, and he has tried his best to keep that promise. He said they have pushed each other up. Brandon said he knew it was important to Jasmines to have him there at her games so he tried to be there all four years, even though it meant some late nights for away games.
Brandon said he and Jasmines and the rest of the family have celebrated Mothers Days, birthdays and other holidays together, while their mother was sick and after her passing, in ways like releasing balloons.
“Brandon tried to find an outlet to keep me uplifted,” said Jasmines. “He’s affected me in a lot of ways.”
She doesn’t know how her family has planned to celebrate her graduation, but she is sure they will do something special for her.
“I’m waiting for a surprise,” she said. “I know it will be something big.”
Jasmines said that although she is disappointed that her senior year ended abruptly and there won’t be a graduation ceremony on the field on May 22, she really enjoyed the first semester of her senior year. She loved that new band director Miles Benson brought back the “Black & Gold.” She said she loved the pep rallies, homecoming, being on the field with the dance and flag team and being in dance class at Mary Persons with teacher Holly Spires. She said her favorite teacher is Lori Greenway because she is so energetic and positive.
As she becomes a Mary Persons graduate, Jasmines focuses on all the support that she has rather than the people in her life that aren’t with her day to day any more.