Odessa High School senior Jazmine Arenivas will get a lot of help to attend the University of Texas Permian Basin in the fall, thanks to a Presidential Scholarship she recently won.
The scholarship is for $28,000. She wasn’t at the ceremony because her sister had won $500 and her parents were hosting a dinner party that night, so it was decided it was OK if she passed.
“Then I got a call from one of my friends and he said, ‘Jazmine, you just won the big scholarship everybody’s been waiting for’ and I was like, ‘Really?!’ I was really surprised. I was jumping up and down from how happy I was,” Arenivas said.
At UTPB, Arenivas plans to major in biology. She’s also an artist.
“In seventh grade, I wanted to be in art, but they said there was no room so I had to do choir instead. As soon I was got to OHS, I’m like I’m doing art …,” she said.
She’s not sure if she’ll continue art at UTPB.
“A few art classes always calm me down, so maybe at UTPB I can take a few,” Arenivas said.
She likes drawing in color pencil most of the time, and sometimes ink. Arenivas said she started drawing a little bit as a youngster.
“But I really started when I was in ninth grade. That’s when I actually started going beyond my comfort zone and kind of drawing different things other than cartoons like a normal little kid. Miss (Cynthia) Wood really opened my mind to other images and stuff,” Arenivas said.
After college, Arenivas wants to continue her studies and become an oral surgeon.
“When I was in the second grade, I remember seeing a little cartoon of a dentist on my teacher’s wall and I was like, ‘Whoa! That’s really cool. You can be a dentist.’ Ever since then, I’ve never given that up.”
Her uncle is an optometrist, so she is used to being around a clinic and the smells associated with it.
“When I was little, I was always at the dentist because my teeth were so bad, so I feel like I have experience. I like going to the dentist,” Arenivas said.
Director of Fine Arts Aaron Hawley said Arevinas is a testament to how amazing the visual art programs are at Ector County Independent School District.
“We’ve had multiple events over the past week, including VASE (Visual Arts Scholastic Event), state VASE a couple of weeks ago. I’m just very proud of our teachers and our students for their outstanding work,” Hawley said.
Helen Holt, an art teacher at Odessa High School, said she only taught Arenivas for half a year, having taken over for a teacher who retired.
Holt said she heard from fellow art teacher Cynthia Wood, that Arenivas was going to be a joy to have in class and it was true. She said she was thrilled for Arenivas.
“I was overwhelmed. I was excited and I think she deserves every bit of it. She is an exceptional student,” Holt said.
OHS Principal Mauricio Marquez said Arenivas is an amazing young lady.
“She is the president of our National Honor Society. (She’s) just an amazing, all-around neat, neat, neat young lady. We’re very fortunate and blessed to have a student like Jazmine on our campus. Obviously as you can see, she’s obviously very talented and very serious, not just academically but artistically. And better yet, she’s a great human being. (We’re) so very proud of her and looking forward to seeing all the amazing things that she will accomplish in her life and her career,” Marquez said.