Rich South senior quite crafty when it comes to volunteering
BY CHERYL DANGEL BARTOLINI Correspondent December 21, 2012 2:20PM
Rich Central senior Jasmine Pipkins helps Makayla Ritchie decorahe a gingerbread house Saturday during a holiday pancake breakfast at the school. Pipkins is an honor roll student who balances volunteer efforts sports and cheerleading with her academics. Mary Beth Nolan~For Sun-Times Media
Updated: January 25, 2013 6:02AM
When Rich South High School hosted its annual Pancake Breakfast with Santa Holiday Faire earlier this month, Jasmine Pipkins, a senior, was there, right alongside Santa, to help out and bring smiles to the faces of children attending the event in Richton Park.
Pipkins, who enjoys working with kids, volunteered to work the very popular craft booth, helping children make and decorate gingerbread houses.
Rich South’s key club and National Honor Society sponsored the goodwill event for local children. Pipkins is a member of both.
Working the craft booth was a natural choice for Pipkins.
“I like teaching children new things so they can have a good experience, grow up and learn,” she said. “I like teaching kids to learn.”
Of course, spreading a little holiday cheer isn’t bad either.
“I like Christmas and the giving of presents. Helping out at the breakfast really gets me in the mood. I also like helping the kids and eating pancakes,” said Pipkins, 17.
She enjoys working with kids so much that they’ve influenced her career choice. She would like to pursue a degree in nursing or pre-med with the idea of becoming a pediatrician or obstetrician.
Pipkins is considering several local colleges, including the University of Illinois-Chicago and Loyola University. Washington University in St. Louis also is in the running.
For now, Pipkins plans to finish high school on a high note. She is a varsity cheerleader and varsity cross country runner and plays on the soccer team.
She does all this while also maintaining her grades in several honors and advanced placementclasses.
“One day I know it will all pay off,” she said of her busy schedule.
Outside of school, she is a member of the Matteson Team Library, where she works with kids. And over the summer, she participated in the Illinois Institute of Technology Boeing Scholars Academy, a four-week program that exposes high school students to various sciences, mathematics and field trips to Chicago-area businesses. Pipkins was chosen for the program based on her application that included a written essay and an interview.
“We learned a lot of different things, including problem-solving,” Pipkins said. “My group assignment was to figure out how to make gardens so that they offer more food options as an alternative to fast-food restaurants.
“I also learned how to budget and work together in a group. It was very diverse.”
Pipkins’ role models are her parents, Linda and James Pipkins, of Matteson.
“They show me the way and teach me right from wrong. They help me stay on track with everything,” she said. “They teach me to have the morals and to be a great student because that is just how they are.”