Jasmine Swoope, who entered her senior year at Bradley University in the fall of 2013, has a long history with Camp of Dreams.
Initially a camper at the age of 14, Jasmine remembers getting one of the last spots at summer camp. She recalls rushing around and making the long drive (with her mother) to ensure she made it in time for the first session of camp.
It was well worth the effort. Over the next six years, Jasmine progressed from a camper to a counselor-in-training and then to a camp counselor. In talking about her experiences over the years, Jasmine summed it up by exclaiming that "Camp of Dreams is just awesome!"
Jasmine credits Camp of Dreams for a number of lessons she learned during her six years of participation. For instance, she notes that "Camp of Dreams taught [her] to become a better listener." It also "pushes you out of your comfort zone and prepares you for situations life will throw at you." Put simply, she explained that Camp of Dreams "[m]akes you want to be a better person."
"Jasmine has natural leadership abilities," says former Camp of Dreams program director Lori Coomes. "She was very enthusiastic as a camper, and she worked every year she was in high school as a junior counselor. Jasmine was a real positive role model for the younger kids at camp."
During her junior year at St. Ignatius College Prep a group of roughly 20 students went on a week-long bus tour as part of the CoD program to explore different college campuses. She explained that, in addition to seeing the schools, Camp of Dreams arranged for "meetings with professors and the administration" and set up "leadership workshops" to help prepare them for the college experience. Jasmine says that the college visits were "instrumental in [her] decision to go to Bradley."
Jasmine is majoring in public relations with a minor in marketing at Bradley. She is currently interning at the Peoria Chamber of Commerce, and she has a real desire to help people to improve their communities. Jasmine’s ultimate goal is to "get into community relations with a not-for-profit organization." She has a "real passion for helping people and getting out into the community."
These goals and this passion were fostered by Jasmine’s experiences in Camp of Dreams. Jasmine concluded that "she could talk for days" about all of the wonderful memories from Camp of Dreams and all of the important skills she learned and developed in our program.