Portal High School Valedictorian, STAR Student and Governor’s Honors Program Finalist Jasmyn Mikel is ready for her future. She’ll start by attending Georgia Southern University this fall, where she plans to pursue her doctorate in nursing.
“There’s something special about GSU,” said Mikel. “Students from more than 100 countries choose GSU, and I’m excited to meet them.”
Health care has been Mikel’s dream for some time. She’s spent summers volunteering at East Georgia Regional Medical Center.
“My aunt is a nurse, and I love math and science, but it was my fifth-grade 4-H District Project Achievement on blood pressure that really got me interested in nursing.”
She also credits Portal science teachers Anne Newell and Robin Norton.
Mikel’s academic and extra-curricular activities have currently earned her scholarships from Southern LEAD and the Altrusa Club. GSU’s $1,000 LEAD scholarships are given to only 40 incoming freshmen who have prior leadership experience and whom the University feels have the potential to assume leadership roles on campus.
“My Advanced Placement (AP) U.S. History and Economics Teacher Pat Tankersley frequently encouraged me to apply for these and other scholarships.”
Mikel selected Tankersley as her STAR teacher earlier this year. “Jasmyn is the most focused student I know,” said Tankersley.
During the STAR Banquet where GSU President Brooks Keel was the featured speaker, Tankersley told Keel, “I’m sending her to you, so take care of her.”
Neither timid in taking on leadership roles nor trying new things, Mikel has served as vice president of her school’s Beta Club and FCCLA chapters, was the advertising editor and athletic photographer for the yearbook, and volunteers at Portal Elementary School.
“She’s a young woman, but she conducts herself as an adult,” said retiring Portal Principal Jimmy Parrish.
She also serves as the Sunday school secretary at Scarboro Grove Baptist Church.
“It’s a family tradition that’s been passed down to the oldest teen for as long as I can remember,” said Mikel.
Family has been key to her success.
“Through the years my mother and grandmother have encouraged me to do well.”
Mikell is the daughter and granddaughter of Ramona Mikel and Clara Greene of Portal.
“I’ve always encouraged Jasmyn to believe in herself, and that through hard work, her dreams could come true,” said Ramona Mikel.