BLAINE, Minn. — The Ann Bancroft Foundation has honored Jazzmin Brooks and Dafina Bobo with a Dream Maker Award for their work with their peers through their group Girls In Motion Minnesota. The Ann Bancroft Foundation is celebrating the 13th year of its Dream Maker Awards, which honor Minnesotans who encourage and support the achievements of girls and women. Each year the Bancroft Foundation recognizes two adults, an organization and one girl for their achievements.
Jazzmin Brooks and Dafina Bobo are this year’s winners in the girl category for the inspiration they are providing other teens with their Girls In Motion Minnesota organization.
Wise beyond their years
Jazzmin is a 17-year-old junior at Blaine High School and Dafina is a 16-year-old junior at Blake School. Dafina is currently studying in China.
Both girls live in Minneapolis. They are not your typical teens. While she is still making her way through classes at Blaine High School, Jazzmin already has a developed an extensive resume.
“Yes, my resume started quite early,” Brooks said.
Indeed it did. The part of Jazzmin’s resume that highlights community service dates back to 2001, when she was just 8 years old.
Dafina Bobo’s resume is just as impressive; especially the part about how, as young teens, she and Jazzmin started a group called.
“Yes, that’s the one that’s like, ‘Ahh!’ It shines on the resume,” Jazzmin exclaimed.
Girls In Motion Minnesota is a non-profit organization that centers on leadership and civic skills. It’s a youth group with a very mature mission.
Girls with goals
“The goal? To change the world one girl at a time,” Jazzmin said proudly.
Jazzmin and Dafina are doing that, in part, by bringing together 13 to 18-year-old girls for special teen events. Among their accomplishments is an AIDS Awareness Painting Project and a 2008 Summit on Social Justice.
It’s at that event that Jazzmin and Dafina realized their dream to empower their peers was becoming reality.
“We just spent all day talking about how we can change the world,” Jazzmin said of the summit. “It’s a mentoring process. And when we bring new girls in, those girls help the other girls get acclimated to what we are doing.”
An inspiration to young and old
Jazzmin has earned the respect of her fellow students and her teachers.
“There’s just something special about her that’s almost hard to put into words,” Blaine High School teacher Jen Munsch Kauer said. “She’s got a positive attitude, she’s a hard worker.”
“She’s definitely not a shy person,” a classmate added.
Looking to the future
Today, Jazzmin and Dafina continue to spread their Girls In Motion message: Be active in your community and be honest in your career choice.
“Dafina and I, both being good at math, want other girls to know that it’s fine to be good in math and science,” Jazzmin said. “If this is your medium, just go on ahead and do it. We want people to know there are all types of girls out there.”
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