Education Technology

Straight-A Student Won’t Allow COVID-19 To Take Her Dreams

Posted 02/08/2021 by Ellen Fishpaw (@ellenfishpaw)

This Valentine’s Day, we want to celebrate a straight-A student whose love of learning is inspiring everyone around her. Jasmine Calderon, 17, is an exceptional senior at Pahokee High School in Florida who continues to excel despite her entire household coming down with COVID-19 over the summer and losing her father to the virus just four days after Father’s Day. “It was then that I felt like my world was falling apart. And in a way, it did,” said Calderon.

Calderon’s father, David Calderon-Vital, was the only financial provider for their family, and until she lost him, Jasmine says, “We never needed anything.” Among her wishes was a green TI-84 Plus CE graphing calculator to use in her IB®: Math Applications and Interpretation class and in future college courses. It’s a wish we were more than happy to grant, along with some other goodies to hopefully put a smile on Calderon’s face.

Jasmine Calderon
Jasmine Calderon, a 17-year-old high school senior, contracted COVID-19 along with her entire family over the summer, resulting in her father dying from it. Her father urged her to get her education, and she wanted a TI-84 Plus CE to help with her math classes in high school and college.

Calderon knows that getting a good education is the best way she can help herself and her family. She is currently the valedictorian of her class and student body president and continues to bring home A’s despite the struggles she and her family are facing. Calderon has been in the International Baccalaureate (IB®) program since middle school and is currently dually enrolled at Palm Beach State College, where she is already working toward her associate’s degree in political science. She is applying to colleges and has dreams of going to law school one day.

Despite losing her father, Calderon vows nothing will stop her from chasing her dreams. She says her father always encouraged her dreams, and she knows that he would be proud that she continues “to do right by him.” Striving to help her family, Calderon plans to keep leaning into academics, college scholarship pursuits and long-term ambitions. “I have to do this; I wanna make sure that my family is OK.”

Here’s to Calderon and spreading math love!

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About the author: Ellen Fishpaw is the Media Relations and Communications Manager for Texas Instruments Education Technology. Before joining TI six years ago, Fishpaw was a broadcast journalist for 13 years, working at television stations across the country, from North Carolina to New Mexico. She most recently worked for NBC 5 in Dallas as a crime reporter before hanging up the microphone for a TI-84 Plus CE. Follow her on Twitter @ellenfishpaw.