Jasmine Betka
'19 B.S. Health Science

By Diane Tran
English major
Communication and Public Relations Intern

Photo of Jasmine Betka
Jasmine Betka started out strong at Newbury Park High School, taking Advanced Placement and honors courses and playing on the basketball team. Then an accident her freshman year shattered parts of the vertebrae in her spine and left her with multiple brain injuries and over 20 fractures, and she had to rebuild the academic path she had paved for herself.

“It was hard to find my place in academics,” she said. “People were always like, ‘Oh you won’t be able to do it with everything you have.'”

She practically had no education for three years, but at the age of 20 she finished continuation high school. She began taking classes at Moorpark College and found confidence in her academic journey again, earning an associate degree in social and behavioral sciences with a 4.0 GPA.

Betka then transferred to CSU Channel Islands because it was the right fit for her academic and physical needs, allowing her to stay close to home.

“For me, with my physical health, that moving away aspect wasn’t going to work,” she said.

Scrolling through CSUCI’s website, she saw that the Health Science degree encompassed everything she was passionate about. She still lacked confidence in herself and her abilities since falling out of the academic system, but several Health Science faculty members reassured her that she absolutely had what it takes.

“I remember Dr. Ashley Winans asked me if I was going to get my master’s after CSUCI,” Betka said. “No one ever approached me or encouraged me, even if I maybe thought about it too, and hearing a faculty member telling me I was ready to get a master’s degree really instilled in me the confidence that I could.”

After graduating summa cum laude from CSUCI, Betka earned a master’s in public health. She always knew she wanted to become a teacher and now works as a health educator at Moorpark College and a Health Science Lecturer at CSUCI. Her goals are to find ways to make health education and health care inclusive. She especially tries to make sure her students feel included in an environment where no matter their background they have a space to learn and talk. 

“What I try to embody as an instructor is valuing people and seeing people for who they are and what they bring to the table,” Betka said. “I always teach in my classes not to look at just the deficits but to look at the assets that different communities can bring.”

Back to Top ↑