Everybody has a story worth telling. For many, a major chapter of that story takes form in college. Pursuing a degree can often mean a major departure from the comfort of routine, a dramatic growth in workload, and the opportunity for students to establish who they are in a newfound environment.
Supporting community-driven college students as they write their own story is one reason the Bentley Media Group, a business built by and for storytellers, has created and funded the University of North Georgia’s Honors Civic Award.
The Honors Civic Award seeks to support a UNG student with a history of community service efforts on and off campus, diligence within leadership positions, and a compelling desire to make a positive impact on society.
UNG has been instrumental in getting the Bentley Media Group to where it is today, says founder Maxwell Bentley, who recently graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Film and Digital Media from UNG.
“The UNG community has given so much to me - from a highly capable film industry workforce as well as my own education, to a network of support contributing to the greater economic success of the region,” Bentley said. “This scholarship is our opportunity to give something back, and empower someone else to pursue their dreams, just as I did.”
One exceptional student pursuing her dream is Jasmine Bouges, a UNG Honors Student studying computer science and inaugural recipient of the Honors Civic Award.
“I believe in amplifying voices in a way they haven’t been before,” said Bouges. “Technology allows us to do that, especially with social media. It’s nice to be able to contribute to making sure that all types of voices and a variety of perspectives are heard, and making sure that you have a well-balanced point of view.”
But it’s not just Jasmine’s coursework that empowers her to lift others up. She’s also an Honors student, a member of the Black Student Union, president of the university’s Women in STEM program, and the recipient of numerous other awards and honors, including the school’s Computer Science Excellence Award. “Being a part of a community is more than just being part of a community, but it’s lifting others up so that all boats rise with the tide.”
So many accomplishments do not come without difficulty or uncertainty, as Jasmine well knows. “The best experiences you get are when you’re not entirely sure what to expect, or when you think you know what to expect and you get something entirely different,” she said. “The opportunities I’ve had at UNG have encouraged me to keep at it and try my best to pay it forward.”
Congratulations Jasmine! Thank you for letting the Bentley Media Group be a part of your journey.