Yasmeen Metellus is a fiercely competitive student, an insightful and unique young woman, and a voracious learner who is constantly seeking out new opportunities to grow. From the age of 10, Yasmeen recognized the importance of civic engagement and community involvement. As a middle schooler, Yasmeen became involved in her local library and church. Every summer, she took part in the library’s ‘bookopoly” program- a program that encourages younger children to read and she has also volunteered with her local church by organizing a summer camp for elementary schoolers.
Yasmeen is the type of student who doesn’t just join a club; she transforms them, leads them, and when necessary, even creates them. As a sophomore, she founded a chapter of Model United Nations; she served as director of the Key Club; she was appointed Speaker of the House when attending the annual conference for Youth in Government. As a senior, she noticed that her peers were not excited enough about voting; she also observed that most of her senior classmates were confused about the world of financial planning that awaited them post-graduation. Her response to these situations was to organize a voter registration drive for her senior class, and then to organize a financial literacy club to inform her fellow students. Her true passion in life lies in her high school’s speech and debate team. Yasmeen has amassed numerous state and national awards throughout her debate career. Her experience with the team inspired her to become more involved in politics, and encourage her fellow students to become more politically aware. Debate also sparked her interest in women and gender studies; she hopes to one day create policies that will positively affect women.
Yasmeen has committed herself to helping other girls find their voice, thus she created a feminist book club. This book club includes girls from other schools across the county. Once a month, they meet to discuss a new book by an inspiring female author. This club has provided support to girls interested in a political science degree. Outside of school, Yasmeen has shown her passion for women’s rights issues by attending and receiving a full scholarship to the Barnard Young Women’s Leadership Camp. She also started a female empowerment blog with the other young girls at the camp. This blog addresses the damaging effects of certain derogatory words on a teenage girl’s self esteem. Yasmeen has also participated in the Youth in Government organization. As a 10th grader, she attended the Florida Youth in Government Conference, and she presented a bill on equal pay and foster care reform.
Yasmeen will attend Columbia University in the fall of 2016, and she will pursue a double major in political science and economics with a minor in women and gender studies. She hopes to eventually attend law school, and in the future utilize her education to further women’s rights around the world.