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To be her own boss

Your Dream is Our Dream: Jazmin Rios Soriano

Editor’s note: Your Dream is Our Dream: Celebrating Student Success brings you conversations with students about their dreams and the educators who ignite and inspire them. In a new series from School News Network, students from all levels of education share in their own words and pictures how learning connects them to achieving their goals and exploring their ambitions. An initiative of Kent ISD, Your Dream is Our Dream showcases student success and how teaching and learning help make dreams come true.

Lowell — Jazmin Rios Soriano, 16, is a Lowell High School junior and a student in Kent Career Tech Center’s Entrepreneurship and Marketing program. This career-focused scholar has big plans for her future. 

What is your dream? “My dream career is owning my own business. I haven’t decided a hundred percent which (type of) business, but it would be either jewelry, because I love jewelry so much, or I want to have a nail salon, because I love getting my nails done.”

Why is this your dream? “I’ve always wanted to have my own business because I can’t see myself working for other people my entire life. I just wanted to do it on my own. I think this is my dream because it’s something not many people can do and, like, not everyone does. And I’m my own boss. I don’t like being told things to do. … My family, I think, loves the idea because they also don’t like working for other people, even though they do it. They think it’s a good opportunity for me and they think I can achieve it.”

Jazmin gives a presentation to class on the heat sensors she would put in her ‘safety cap’ invention

How are school and your teachers helping you achieve this dream? “I think it’s really good that (Lowell High School) gave us the opportunity to join KCTC; they let us look at all the programs and let you choose whatever fits. It was nice to have the opportunity because I wanted to explore first and see if I actually would enjoy (being a business owner). I knew I wanted to do that but I don’t have the experience, so right away I knew I wanted to enter this marketing program because it’s what I love doing.”

Jazmin said she has appreciated the many opportunities students have to present new ideas to their peers. Her favorite project to date was to come up with a new solution “to solve one of the big problems in the world.” Jazmin and her project partner chose to work on the problem of personal safety, and invented a “safety cap” that can detect the warmth of other people’s bodies.

“Like, if someone’s trying to attack you from the back, (the hat) will detect the body heat with Tesla radars — you know how Teslas have sensors that can detect humans so it can stop? We decided to put that inside the cap,” Jazmin explained. 

“That way it can detect someone behind you and hopefully tell you in advance, something’s gonna happen to you. We also wanted to collaborate with Mace (pepper spray) on this, so if the cap would be telling you that someone’s approaching you, like, you’d have enough time to reach the Mace.”

Jazmin said her Tech Center teacher, Kirk Helferich, “is really supportive with everything. Like, he loves my ideas and says he thinks I’m really creative. It’s really nice to have that support with everything that I think of for class.”

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Beth Heinen Bell
Beth Heinen Bell
Beth Heinen Bell is a reporter (covering Cedar Springs, Grandville, Lowell and Rockford), editor, copy editor and social media manager. She is an award-winning journalist who got her start as the education reporter for the Grand Haven Tribune. A Calvin University graduate, she later returned to Calvin to help manage its national writing festival. Beth has also written for The Grand Rapids Press, Fox 17 and several West Michigan businesses and nonprofits. She is fascinated by the nuances of language, loves to travel and has strong feelings about the Oxford comma. Read Beth's full bio

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