By her own admission, Jazmine Richison wasn’t a stellar student at Patapsco High School (Dundalk, Md.). She was known for skipping classes, not turning in assignments and caring more about her social life than her grades.
CCBC 2020 Graduate
President’s Distinguished Graduate Award recipient
When graduation time rolled around, her prospects didn’t seem promising. She was succumbing to the negative thoughts that were constantly bombarding her.
“You’re a failure,” and “you’ll never accomplish anything,” were comments she often heard. But the one that stuck out most in her mind was, “The only place you’ll ever go is 13th grade.”
“13th grade. That was what everyone called community college,” said Richison. “Fortunately, that didn’t stop me.”
Not only was she determined to pursue higher education at the Community College of Baltimore County, she embraced campus life and leadership roles. As a tribute to her dedication to academic success and service to the college community, CCBC selected Richison as its 2020 President’s Distinguished Graduate Award recipient. This award is given annually to a student who has shown exemplary leadership and a commitment to help others.
Richison, a Dundalk, Md. resident, will be recognized during CCBC’s 2020 Commencement ceremony, where she will deliver this year’s commencement address.
Like thousands of students who need a fresh start or a place to plant firm academic roots, Richison discovered the big impact community college could have on one’s life.
I enrolled at CCBC the summer after I graduated from high school in 2017–with a 1.91 GPA,” Richison said. “I didn’t know it then, but community college was about to make my world a whole lot bigger.”
During her time at CCBC, she joined the Student Government Association, served as vice president and Maryland state president for Phi Theta Kappa (the international honor society for two-year colleges), and excelled in classes as part of the CCBC Honors program.
Richison received CCBC’s Outstanding Student Leader Award in 2019 and had a blog posted on Forbes.com, where she touted the importance of College Promise, a scholarship program of which she was a recipient. Following graduation, Richison plans to attend the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. She is the recipient of the CCBC President’s Transfer Award, which provides her with a full scholarship to UMBC in order to pursue a bachelor’s degree in psychology.