Jasmine Pondexter, Renaissance Woman

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Ida B. Wells Barnett was a woman who truly inspires me. She spoke the truth when no one else would and made a huge difference on an international scale.

[The Model Profile]

Her Good Heart Leads Her To Mexico As Volunteer


Where's She's From
I grew up in and around Charleston, South Carolina. My dad is a UPS delivery man and retired army soldier from rural South Carolina and my mom is a nurse from Oakland California. My dad is incredibly personable and has always been a man of great faith when it comes to my dreams and aspirations.  The most important things I learned from him have to do with taking pride in my heritage and being courageous enough to believe that I can achieve any and every pie-in-the sky impossible dream I could possibly have.  My mom has taught me more than anything that every goal take knowledge and diligence, which she has demonstrated in her own life in a truly inspirational way.


Where did you go to school and when did you launch your career?
I attended Emory University in Atlanta for three years and recently transferred to College of Charleston in South Carolina.  A fellow Emory student actually gave me my start in modeling. I was already a make-up artist as a means of supplementing my income when he asked me to model for him. I gained confidence and began working with a photographer in Charleston who made me the face of his modeling group.

What stage do you consider your career to be at now?
I think my career is really starting to take off at this point. I began networking myself in July 2010 and the responses have been encouraging.

Where do you see it going and what’re your aspirations?
It is in my nature to desire the best possible results when I put my heart and soul into something. My heart and soul are in modeling, so I am hoping that in the next six months, I will be appear in some major publications, this one included, and have a modeling contract with a top modeling agency. In the next six years, I hope to have landed major contracts with cosmetic and clothing brands as well as covers of  magazines.  Modeling is not the only career path I plan to pursue. I hope to invest in real estate and possibly try my hand at journalism one day. I think I would like to be a renaissance woman.

Talk about some challenges and how you conquer them
I am not 5-foot 9-inches tall, which is the minimum height for most modeling agencies, and I began my modeling career in my early adult years. Most models who reach the level of success that I aspire to, began modeling in their early teens and are much taller than me. I inspire myself by reading about and studying models who have attained great success despite setbacks. I also make it my job to study the industry in order to learn how to be competitive and understand how to best market myself. 
 
List some of the professional modeling, acting, business, entrepreneurship, accomplishments you're most proud of?
Being profiled in this publication is something that I am proud of. I think it is a great start in publicity.  I became the head female model of Xpressions Modeling Group in Charleston, which has provided me great experience and publicity.  Also, I will be graduation from college this December, which is an academic achievement that I am quite proud of.

Tell us why it’s important to combine brainpower and beauty?
Intelligence and creativity are imperative in this industry because a model does not have to be pretty in a conventional way to book jobs. Many times, a woman’s success may be based primarily on her ability to convey emotion on camera, her ability to communicate with people and her ability to network if she is not a model lucky enough to be discovered in a mall or airport. The beauty definitely helps a model get her foot in the door, but in order to build a career, often times she needs to know the system in which she is working so that she is not taken exploited or conned.

Your philosophy of life:  Dream big and work hard.

Volunteer Work: I went to Mexico on two occasions to work with a Non-Governmental Organization called Armonía to learn about urban poverty and volunteer at their schools and community centers. Armonía is an organization created for the Mexican poor, run by the Mexican poor and headed primarily by Mexican people, which I think is important. The founders, Saul and Pilar Cruz, have transformed forgotten communities in beautiful ways by befriending and understanding the people in them. They regularly have long term volunteers from the United States and England who help encourage an inter-cultural exchange that the founders desire for the children and local people. Please see www.armoniaus.org/about.html

List some of the brands, clothing and products such as lotions, makeup, perfume, clothing, shoes that you use and why you like them.
I use a lot of Maybelline make-up because it is affordable and I like their mineral powder collection as well as their dream mousse. I do not wear a lot of perfume. It is difficult to find the right scent.  I would rather go to the farmer’s market and purchase a fragrance oil, so I can put it in my body wash, lotion etc. That way I can layer the scent and it is also more affordable. I think my favorite body wash is one that I made by combining a liquid soap base with beneficial essential oils. My style is eclectic with vintage elements, mostly because that is what I can afford as I am still in college. I stick to timeless basics like jeans and solid colored tops and invest in trendy accessories like chunky jewlery, vests, boots.  

Your words of wisdom: knowledge is power. Also, whatever you do to achieve success in an area is probably what you will have to do to maintain it, so be careful what shortcuts you take to get to where you are going.

Your secrets of success: When I want to do something, I study it.

Your favorite all time 3 movies: Matilda, John Q, The Brave One

Your favorite all time 3 books: Brother, I’m Dying, by Edwidge Danticat; Native Son, by Richard Wright; and, The Ugly Duckling, various authors.

Three leaders, living or not, that inspire you the most and why
Ida B. Wells Barnett was a woman who truly inspires me.  She spoke the truth when no one else would and made a huge difference on an international scale. She was also a renaissance woman, delving into entrepreneurship and politics in addition to journalism. Tyra Bank inspires me as well. She achieved great success in modeling, but did not settle for that. She has become a world super power and household name with her competition series America’s Next Top Model and made her voice heard on her talk show and website.  She used her previous success to launch her career in other areas, which I admire.  Pilar Cruz is a woman I met in Mexico. She is the co-founder Armonía.  She amazes me because her compassion for others has led to the success of schools/community centers in some of the worst cities of Mexico. Despite her wealthy background, she has carried a deep compassion and burden for the poor in her country. Her husband, who used to be a youth pastor in Mexico, said he fell in love with her when he realized she missed his services on Sundays to bring sandwiches and educational coloring books to the children in an impoverished nearby community.

Your five favorite musicians/entertainers and their songs
India Arie “Ready for love”, Adele “Hometown Glory”, Lauryn Hill “lost ones”, Barbara Streisand in the musical Funny Girl, and Sade “Soldier of Love” and “Smooth Operator”

Your 5 favorite websites
www.Fmd.com , www.wikipedia.org , www.modelmayhem.com, www.models.com, www.youtube.com

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