SparkOpportunity Winner: Jasmine Babers
JASMINE BABERS, 16 - ROCK ISLAND, ILLINOIS
Jasmine Babers, a 16 year-old honors student from Rock Island, IL, is the editor and founder of Love, GIRLS—a magazine by and for girls to help hone skills and boost self esteem. This magazine earned her one of the five Youth Awards in the 2012 crowd-sourced SparkOpportunity Challenge.
Here, Jasmine shares more about her project in a Q&A with SparkAction.
What's your idea? Love, GIRLS Magazine teaches girls work skills through experience. Girls learn about marketing, sales, writing, and photography. Our main goal is to help boost girls' self-esteem, and we do so by showcasing their talent and accomplishments in the magazine. Girls on staff decide on the content, graphic design, write the articles, and sell ads and host fundraisers. "Love" in the title of the magazine stands for Lead, Overcome, Value and Empower.
Are you currently a student or working? I am a entering my junior year at Rock Island High School. I am also employed with the Girl Scouts.
Why did you submit an idea to the Challenge? We are just getting started with the magazine and it costs about $1,400 per issue to print, and we need the funding. I also want a CEO/mentor to help me grow the magazine into an organization that could provide employment to teens and help them have real world experience. I have always wanted to work for a magazine—a positive one—so I thought, why wait?
What inspired you come up with the idea? When I was 15, I decided that I wanted to start an organization for and about the self-esteem of girls. After taking a graphics design class in high school, my mother suggested a magazine. I thought it was a great idea.
What will you do with the grant money? The funding will help cover some of the printing costs for four issues per year. We would also like to provide a career education workshop for girls and start saving for a scholarship fund.
Why do you feel it is important to help other youth? I am currently in high school, and I know girls can have a hard time in high school. Sometimes people say a lot of bad things about others in school, and I wanted to do something positive for girls—something that would make them feel good.
What are you hoping that your idea accomplishes? I hope Love, GIRLS brings work experience for teens, a creation of scholarships through our profits from ad sales, and exposure to local girls for their accomplishments, writing, and photography. This magazine is for girls by girls, so I hope to shine a positive light on the talented girls we have in our community.
Any fun talents or hobbies you would like to share with us? I'm on my high school track team as a sprinter and a pole vaulter. I am also a varsity cheerleader.
Follow Jasmine at @JasBabers!
The SparkOpportunity Challenge was a crowdsourcing competition for young people to share their ideas on how to create local jobs and opportunities for youth. The Challenge was developed by SparkAction and the Youth Leadership Institute and joined Jon Bon Jovi in support of the White House Council for Community Solutions. Learn more >>