For this blog series, we’d like to highlight some of the wonderful school proprietors we get to learn from. This week we’d like to introduce you to Jazmin Feliciano.
Jazmin Feliciano, director of Smith School, recollects that her childhood was very poor in a material sense. Her family, though of humble means, was one of strong values and a desire to move forward in life. Her mother raised her and two other siblings. The family moved a lot within the town of San Pedro de Macoris, Dominican Republic.
Jazmin remembers working throughout her education. She worked many jobs: at a local gas station, a factory and helping her mother sell food and ceramics on the weekends.
She remembers she was a distracted student because of the weight of her family’s precarious economic situation. Nonetheless, her memories of her childhood school, called Mount Zion School, include teachers who taught her Christian values and brought her to praise services at the nearby church.
Jazmin married before she finished high school. She returned to finish her degree and then enrolled in university in 2004 and continued studying as she raised her children. She graduated in 2012 with a degree in Education.
Jazmin’s mother dreamt of Jazmin running her own school, since she had at one point headed a school herself. Jazmin and her mother have taken out two loans to be able to prepare the building they initially rented into the school it is today. In three years of operation, the school population has grown from 80 to 132 students. Jazmin says that this is a result of prayer.
When they began the school, they prayed every day for sufficient students to be able to start. When asked what she would say to encourage other school directors she said, “Do all you do unto God. I’ve had impossible tasks been put in front of me but with God all is possible. Do your work for love and not for money”.