Soroptimist International of Long Beach – Investing in Dreams

Here is the copy from the CSULB website newsroom:

By Daniela Alvarez

Jazmin Miramontes has struggled, but not in the way many college students do. Growing up with a hearing impairment, Miramontes has developed thick skin. Now, with less than a month left until her graduation from CSULB, she is putting her future into perspective.
Jazmin Miramontes (Photo by Kevin Tran)

“At the point where I am right now in life, a lot of people would have dropped out,” said Miramontes, a Speech-Language Pathology major. “I felt like giving up, but my mentors always supported me and reminded me to keep going.”

Miramontes has a laundry list of mentors and individuals who have supported her emotionally and financially. This group includes doctors, professors, friends, and family members. They have given her everything from academic and career advice to money for groceries. The one person she is grateful to the most, however, is her mother Lorena.

“My mom reminds me to keep fighting so that someday I can have what I don’t have now,” she said.

Miramontes’ currently works as a college student aid for the Long Beach Unified School District at Polytechnic High School. Although it is not enough to make ends meet, she has found a support system in the staff.

“Dr. Jill Baker and Dr. Tiffany Brown have been constantly supportive and have always believed in me,” said Miramontes.

Miramontes and her mother are currently homeless, but fortunately not out on the street. They are living with a family, the Rolons, in west Long Beach. They first became homeless in October of last year.

“I’m very grateful to everyone who has helped me to get where I am, but I want all of this to be over,” said Miramontes. “I really thank the Rolons for taking us in, but someday I want my own home and to be able to take care of my mom.”

Miramontes’ mother suffers with diabetes. Despite such a setback, she has kept encouraging her daughter to pursue her education and take it to the highest level she can.

“Education is my ticket out,” said Miramontes.

She is waiting to hear back from two graduate programs–one at Idaho State University and another at Utah State University. If accepted to either, Miramontes will have to leave her family behind, but only temporarily.

“Yes, it worries me,” she said, “but I know that I’ll be able to support myself, my mom, and my brother in the end. That’s what my goal is.”

Miramontes and her brother Jose, who attends CSUN, ultimately want to make their mother proud and make a difference in the community they grew up in.

“My mom has done a fabulous job in supporting her kids to get them to college,” she said.

Miramontes’ perseverance and self-confidence has not come easy to her. She has struggled with finding a balance of hope and caution. Nonetheless, her goal to become an audiologist for people with impairments such as hers has remained at the forefront.

“I want to give back to my community and be a role model to kids like me, who also grew up with a single parent, are first generation and have a disability or impairment,” said Miramontes. “A lot of people always told me I wouldn’t make it because I’m Latina, or have a hearing impairment so I want to tell people like me that whatever dream they want to pursue is possible.”

Department Chair of Speech-Pathology Carolyn Madding is one of the many mentors to Miramontes and sees a bright future for her as an audiologist.

“Jazmin’s challenges make her life story to date one that is very compelling,” said Madding. “She has great drive and spirit, and she is a personable, loving and caring individual. You can see it in her eyes and the way she relates to others–she has a captivating personality and she will achieve her goals.”

Miramontes is not planning to put her career goals on hold after her graduation from CSULB. She wants to keep working before getting into graduate school and eventually earn her Doctorate of Audiology.

“This graduation will definitely be a huge accomplishment,” said Miramontes. “But after my doctorate, this battle will finally be over and I can start my life.”

As part of the 2017 commencement at CSULB, Jazmin Miramontes will be walking in the 5 p.m. ceremony for the College of Health and Human Services on Thursday, May 25.