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Jasmine's Story

Each year in elementary school we were required to write a Young Author's book. I would spend weeks planning out every page, constructing a lavish story, and developing characters. It was a time when I could let my imagination run wild. I remember sitting at the computer typing my story with only my index fingers and making my illustrations with the 'paint' application. Story telling was a passion for me, but creating was my calling.

The years blew by and once I was in secondary school, Young Author books were no longer required. I was in Jr. High, so being inventive or even being original was usually frowned upon by my peers. So, I put my publishing skills aside and started focusing on my social life. I got even closer to my childhood friend who was absolutely brilliant and remarkably shy. I loved her with my whole heart and we had a particularly deep connection with each other since we had been friends for so long. When I was adopted, she was my first friend with my new family. For as long as I've know my Mom and Dad, we have been friends. We would sit in her room on long summer days and discuss our futures while eating ice cream and flipping through magazines. Among the discussion of wedding plans and career choices we would awe at the skinny, flawless girls we saw on the glossy pages of teen magazines. That is when she told me she wanted to be different. We thought of changing her hair, dying it darker, lighter or chopping it off. We thought about working out, going on a diet together… Whatever it took to be 'perfect.'

In my eyes… she WAS perfect. Beyond perfect. She had a heart of gold, brain of steel, mouth full of wisdom, and soul full of love. When she was bullied, I wanted to do something to help. It shouldn't have been those models on the pages of the magazine. It should have been my best friend. Although I was certain of that, she wasn't… But I wanted her to know.

In September of 2011, just before my 16th birthday I decided to create a nonprofit self-esteem magazine that would be written by girls for girls. In January 2012, Love GIRLS Magazine (LGM) was born. In LGM girls of all ages can not only find advice and relatable stories, but they can also find inspiration, stories about local girls doing amazing things as well as fashion and other fun topics. Love stands for Lead, Overcome, Value and Empower.

I am back to doing what I love, creating. Today girls in Memphis and Washington D.C. utilize LGM to encourage and support the girls in their communities. November 12th 2014, LGM was added to the Library of Congress Congressional Record. My hope is for continued expansion. Today I am a college student. I believe a college education will help me grow the publication. It is not an easy task, but the publishing team and I are up to the challenge. I believe in the power of stories, because every girl has a story that deserves to be told.

AWARDS

Photo of Jasmine with magazine covers

Jasmine Babers, Founder and Editor

2012 White House Council on Community Solutions SparkAction Award
2012 Quad Cities Community Caring Conference Youth Hero Award
2012 Bethany Youth Volunteer of the Year
2013 Delta Sigma Theta, Inc. Ele Award, Moline-Davenport Alumnae Chapter
2013 Build-A-Bear Workshop Huggable Hero
2013 Women's Connection, Young Women of Achievement Award
2014 NAACP of Rock Island County, Youth Development Image Award
2014 Royal Neighbors of America Fraternalist of the Year
2014 Gloria Barron Prize for Young Heroes
2014 USA Network's Character's Unite Award
2014 Prudential Spirit of Community Award
2015 Peace First Prize Winner