A Heart for Helping
Jasmine Bibbs ’13 came to Washington College knowing she wanted to major in psychology, and her time here, particularly her internships at a local clinic, has only fueled that passion. The Clinton, Md., native says her experiences shadowing a licensed clinical social worker, meeting with clients of all ages, has deepened her compassion and broadened her perspective.
“They’re just people who need assistance—depression, ADHD, family issues, their parents may be substance abusers,” Bibbs says. “You’ll have a child doing way more than he should be, taking care of his parent, calling 911, having to do much more than a child should ever do or see. I’ve always had a heart for helping … but this has made me open my eyes more and to be more cognizant that I have a wonderful life, and I should be striving to use the gifts God has given me to help others.”
Bibbs, who has a minor in sociology, came from a small high school, and as soon as she set foot on the Washington College campus, she was hooked. It didn’t hurt that the first psychology teacher she met, who later became her advisor, was Professor George Spilich. “He’s such a character,” she says. Speaking with him helped her choose WC, because “he was so charismatic, and he wasn’t showing off the work they had done, the awards and the recognition. It was his warm personality and knowing that he wanted to work with me. It made me excited to work with him.”
Her relationships with the department’s faculty have been a cornerstone of her education. “You know you can count on them, and you know somebody will tell you the truth, even if it’s not really what you want to hear. It’s more than the classroom and academics with them. It’s a passion for them, and you can tell.”
Along with academics, Bibbs has devoted her time at WC in Residential Life, working as an RA in her sophomore and junior years and as an assistant area director during her senior year. She’s also a member of Zeta Tau Alpha, and last year was on the committee that organized the Relay For Life.
But academics have been her primary focus, and her work clearly has paid off; she was inducted into Phi Beta Kappa this spring, and she’s applied for a master’s in social work. Her time at Washington College, she says, has done more than hone her communication skills and give her real-life experience in a career. It has nurtured her ambition.
“Coming in here I was like a blank canvas. I don’t think that I really valued as much as I do now the importance of having a higher education. I just wanted to come here and do the best I could do. But over time, as I met more people who took me under their wing and pointed me in a direction where I could better myself, I wanted to strive to keep bettering myself, and more opportunities came, more doors opened for me. I started to grow and develop as a person from those experiences, and it’s just been nonstop. Now I feel the sky’s the limit and whatever I want to do, I can do. I can accomplish it.”
Read more stories of Purpose and Passion here.