Finding a home, building a community

Jasmin Carrillo

Jasmin Carrillo is a native Californian at heart, but she adopted Northern Arizona University as her home the first time she set foot on campus.

She fell in love with the campus during a visit her sister had scheduled while touring multiple universities. Carrillo will graduate Friday from NAU with two bachelor’s degrees: one in speech language sciences and technology and a second in Spanish.

Carrillo’s future career path will mirror her student activities—involvement in the community, a desire to help others and a drive to bring people together. She found a resource in LEADS Center, which offers students advising, mentoring and cultural celebrations and houses the Inclusion and Multicultural Services and Student Support Services.

“Sometimes it’s hard to connect with my parents because I’m the first to go to college, even though they’ve always strived for us to get a college education,” Carrillo said. “That’s why I connected with the LEADS Center. They bring you under their wing and give you advice.”

Carrillo jumped right in as a freshman, volunteering to serve as one of the university’s first mentors in the Fostering Success program at NAU. In addition to working as a mentor and orientation leader, she joined the Gamma Alpha Omega sorority because it was known for community service. Carrillo also helped found the United Greek Council to join NAU’s fraternities and sororities to create a more focused, joint community service effort.

Carrillo leaves NAU with a plan to earn a certificate in speech language pathology. She has her eyes set on graduate school and possibly a return to NAU, where she found a home among friends and supportive faculty.

“The enthusiasm shown by my professors not only surprised me but also motivated me to try harder,” Carrillo said. “We were always asked ‘what can we do better?’”

Carrillo hopes to meet that challenge when someday she opens a bilingual therapy center to tackle the language barriers that impede patients’ opportunities to receive proper care.