POSTED BY JENNA REGAN
At the age of 25, Jasmine Twitty is the youngest person ever to be sworn is as a judge in the town of Easley, South Carolina. Yes, you read that right: A JUDGE. A graduate of the The College of Charleston—and member of Upstate Network Young Professionals Board—Jasmine is breaking through myriad barriers all while spreading her message about the power of confidence, drive, passion, and belief in yourself. We were lucky enough to have a chance to interview Jasmine, and talk a bit about her journey to Judgeship and her hopes for girls who have the same dreams and goals for themselves.
This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.
JASMINE SWORN IN
Smart Girls: Thank you so much for talking with us! Your journey is such an inspiring one. When did you decide you wanted to be a judge?
Jasmine Twitty: Shortly after college, I started to learn what was required to become a judge, and given what I knew, I thought, ‘OK, this is something that is actually attainable.’ I knew I would have to work hard at it—to prove myself worthy of such an appointment. Around 2011, I started being intentional about it. Actually Easely [the town] was not the first time I expressed interest in a judge position.
Smart Girls: What would you say were some of the biggest challenges are that you faced as you worked towards becoming a judge?
JT: I started to question my worth [prior to my appointment] and what I brought to the table; I thought maybe it had a lot to do with my age. So I had to change my focus and think, ‘maybe it’s not my time,’ or ‘maybe I’m not the best person for the position, in that city.’ I saw the glass as half full instead of half empty, and I told myself ‘keep perfecting your craft, continue to do what you do, do well at your job, and even if its not necessary a judgeship that comes out of it, something great will come out of it as long as you remain intentional.’ Another thing was the sacrifices I had to make. Most people work 9-5—most people my age would prefer to have weekends off. I have not worked a 9-5 since I graduated from college!
“I SAW THE GLASS AS HALF FULL INSTEAD OF HALF EMPTY, AND I TOLD MYSELF ‘KEEP PERFECTING YOUR CRAFT, CONTINUE TO DO WHAT YOU DO, DO WELL AT YOUR JOB, AND EVEN IF ITS NOT NECESSARY A JUDGESHIP THAT COMES OUT OF IT, SOMETHING GREAT WILL COME OUT OF IT AS LONG AS YOU REMAIN INTENTIONAL.'”
Smart Girls: What are your hours like, most weeks?
JT: I was working every weekend, and thats not something [many people] my age would want to sacrifice, so once again I saw the glass as half full and not half empty, and I just made sure that I remained intentional. Most times I was working nights, the excuse I could have had was, ‘oh, I cant do this, I can’t do that’ because I worked nights—I didn’t look at it like that. There were weeks when I literally had to map out times when I could get rest. When I got home I made sure I got right to bed.
Smart Girls: Thats such a great, positive attitude to have: to be optimistic and hard working, no matter what it takes. What inspired you or motivated you as you were working toward your goals?
JT: I would say me being the oldest child has a lot to do with it. That’s a lot of pressure, [but] my siblings are remarkable. It wasn’t my parents saying ‘You’re the oldest, you have to do this and you have to do that,’ I just naturally always felt like I had to not only do right for myself, but I feel like if I have to set a good example for anyone in this world, it’s my siblings. So, thats something I’ve always worked hard at when making tough decisions or thinking about how something would be perceived. They are the first ones that come to mind.
So, when I began seeking a Judgeship, I talked to my parents about it of course, and then my siblings. My little sister is 13, and my other sister is 24 and my brother, he’s 23. They are very talented, humble, and well-rounded, and I always tell people I want to be like just like them when I grow up. They have great qualities—I think we all see qualities in other people that we wish we could pick and choose for ourselves—and they’re each unique in the in their own way, but they just have this certain energy that I feed off of. If I’m feeling down I can turn to them. As I’ve gotten older, I really do believe that they were created to speak life into me when I am down, and into believing when I feel hopeless. They just give me that extra confirmation: I look to them for inspiration and motivation at times.
Smart Girls: So what advice would you give to young girls—like your sister—who want to follow a career path such as yours?
JT: The first thing I would stay to them is remain true to yourself, remain to who you are, listen to your voice, and do not lose sight of what is important to you. Another thing is remember that while you’re doing it, be prepared for people to question you—people will give opinions and maybe even doubt you at times. It’s OK for people not to understand your journey, and the reason being is because it’s not for them. What is important that you make a conscientious effort to keep your goals aligned with your vision. Remain true to yourself at all times, and envision yourself accomplishing those goals. I believe if you see yourself doing something, it makes you want it that much more. You intentionally start to align yourself with your vision, which is truly important. BE INTENTIONAL. Intentional is one of my favorite words. Because if you’re not intentional, you cant expect things just to happen. You have to go make them happen—especially as women.
“IT’S OK FOR PEOPLE NOT TO UNDERSTAND YOUR JOURNEY, AND THE REASON BEING IS BECAUSE IT’S NOT FOR THEM.”
Smart Girls: What did you tap into, as a young woman, as you were working so hard to accomplish this goal for yourself?
JT: Confidence. I had to tell myself to remain confident. It is completely natural for your confidence to waver at times: any time I felt bad or down, I would take a moment to myself, and shut everything and everyone out, and look at the situation and see how I could have handled it differently—and think about what I waned to do moving forward so that I wouldn’t get knocked off my A-Game. I just kept reminding myself the reasons why I’m worthy of whatever it may be I am after at the time. If you appear to be lacking confidence in yourself, how is anyone else going to believe in you?
Smart Girls: Thats exactly it. Is there anything you can think of that you especially want to tell young girls reading this right now?
JT: Be confident in who you are. Don’t compare yourself to anyone. Find the great qualities in yourself, and own them. Once you own those qualities, beautiful things will manifest, things that you didn’t even imagine could happen, will happen.
We are so inspired by Jasmine Twitty, and we wish her the best of luck in her bright future. What dreams and goals do you have? How will you make plans to move them into action? Share you thoughts and ideas!