Jazmin McBride is a recent graduate from the Silberman School of Social Work and this year's winner of the Roger J. Sherwood Award. A United States Airforce veteran, she juggled reserve commitments and school work load simultaneously during her time as a CUNY student. She first began her journey into the military while she had just begun college, taking a small break from her studies in order to fulfill required training mandates for the Air Force. She spent time in Queensborough Community College, eventually transferring to John Jay where she received her Bachelors' in 2015.

Occupying the dual role of civilian-student-and airman reserve wasn't always easy. As a native New Yorker without a car, she often had to spent spend hours navigating transit to make it to drill on the weekends. She would then head back from her military commitment and straight back to class. When asked how she managed that, she stated: "You have to know why you joined the military." Coming from a military family, Jazmin already had an idea of what to expect and her decision to join the Airforce was to further her academic studies. It was this focus that helped her maintain perspective and stay on task, even when she was tired and feeling stressed out from academic work.

She admitted that a challenge she worked through was in asking others for help. Jazmin preferred to take on her academic struggles herself and learned to rely on her supervisor in COVA along with mentors she found in the SSW program. Post-graduation from CUNY her interests lay in higher education. She would like to work with other students in their academic journey and to increase retention rates through program development for CUNY students.

The Roger J. Sherwood Award recognizes papers and students providing exemplary service, research, and policy reform for military Veterans', Active Duty, and Reservists. Jazmin's research focused on creating a peer mentoring program for veterans' with the desirable outcome of "graduation" as it's goal. During her work she concentrated on identifying stereotypes about veterans, using these tropes to help educate and challenge her peers' perspectives. She focused primarily on post 9-11 veterans using benefits but would like to see a mentoring program that accounts for all eras of service. She found the project exciting because it pulled from her direct experiences and the experiences of her friends within CUNY.

Finally, Jazmin imparted a few words of advice to veteran peers navigating through CUNY. "You have to know your end goal. Where do you want to be at the end of all of this? Everyone’s academic journey is unique, so the way you get there or how long it takes compared to the next person is irrelevant. Make a plan stick to it and don’t be afraid to ask for help if things seem stressful”

Jazmin McBride is a CUNY Alumni

She is CUNY graduate (attended QCC and John Jay) who recently received her MSW from the Hunter College Silberman School of Social Work