Today I'm SO excited to introduce you all to Jasmine! She's a Youtuber, Podcast Host, Daughter of The Most High, and an all-around STAR.
If you don't already know Jasmine, I hope this interview gives you enough interest to check out her content. If you're already familiar with her, however, then this conversation between Jasmine and I might shed light on some details you may not have known about her!
This is a common interview starter, but while I know some of our readers at COB might be familiar with you, briefly introduce your fabulous self for those who might not!
Jasmine: Hi, I’m Jasmine! I’m a full-time college student and a part-time content creator. In the upcoming fall, I will be a senior and I am majoring in Corporate Communications and minoring in Education and Psychology. You might be wondering: how do you plan to use your degree? As of right now, I am looking to pursue a job in the non-profit sector specifically in Education because I love working with kids and interacting with people in the community. Outside of school, I spend most of my free time either hanging with my friends/family or creating digital content for my YouTube channel & Instagram page (@stayclassybyjazzy) as well as recording episodes for my podcast “Shy to Shining,” which launched this past February. Basically, I spend most of my time caring for others and creating content that puts a smile on people’s faces.
When and where did your journey with Jesus begin?
Jasmine: Fortunately, I had the privilege of growing up in a loving Christian household. In addition to attending church on Sundays, my little sister and I attended a private Christian school when we were younger, so I was always surrounded by my faith. Although I grew up in a faith-filled environment, I considered myself a “tell-me Christian.” In other words, I grew up listening and following what adults told me about God, Jesus, and the Bible, but I never really took the time to establish a personal relationship with God until I entered college. Upon entering college, I no longer relied on my parents to keep me accountable regarding attending church on Sundays. I ultimately had to make a choice: either sleep in on Sundays like most of my peers or find a way to church every Sunday. Fortunately, I loved attending church (especially taking church notes) and my home church provided transportation for different colleges in the area, so I did not have to stress about finding a new church home and a way to get there every Sunday. Since coming to college, I finally was able to learn about Jesus for myself and establish a personal relationship with Him.
What was your initial response to the call God placed on your life to be an internet influencer? Was starting a blog, making YouTube videos, and hosting a podcast dreams that you had in your heart, or did God ask you to pursue them even though you didn’t have any interest?
Jasmine: In all honesty, I kind of entered the social media world way later than most of my friends. I created a Snapchat account during my freshman year of high school but I did not create an Instagram account until the summer before my junior year of high school. At the time, I felt like I was missing out, but now I realize God was protecting me from unwanted exposure to certain things and I was able to avoid the awkward middle school selfie pose phase haha. It was during the last half of my senior year in high school when I became interested in creating online content. It came by a total surprise because it was not a desire I had growing up. Plus, I was really reserved at that time so putting myself out on the Internet for others to see was nerve-wracking. Nonetheless, I took a leap of faith and started a blog called “Stay Classy by Jazzy.” Looking back now, I believe God knew that I had some creative gifts lying dormant since most of my time was spent doing schoolwork or attending marching band practices and after-school club meetings. So, at the time, I did not have any interest in the work I am doing now but I am grateful God pulled me in this direction.
The body of Christ is so diverse. There are a variety of parts, facets, and talents that God bestows on His children to do good work for His kingdom. What are some unique giftings God has given you, and how do they manifest themselves in your sphere of craft?
Jasmine: The first gift that comes to my mind is encouraging others. It’s something that is so natural for me to do whether it is taking place online or offline. Personally, I get discouraged easily, so to help others not feel the way I do, I encourage them to see things on the bright side and notice the potential in themselves. When I encourage others and make them feel better about themselves, then I feel happy because I know I have made a positive impact on others. Another gift is my caring heart. I thank God for my caring heart because it allows me to connect with people on a personal level where they feel comfortable in my presence and that means the world to me! I always strive to reflect Christ in my life, so if someone is comfortable in my presence then I view it as them feeling comfortable in God’s presence. The last gift that comes to my mind is my love for writing. I used to write stories ALL THE TIME when I was younger but my interest in writing dwindled the more advanced school became because writing academic papers are not as enjoyable as writing a narrative. Thus, I’ve taken to my Instagram page to write long captions that detail the life lessons I’m learning or a piece of encouragement to help people get through their day as a way to rekindle my love for writing.
I love how names have great significance to God. He calls us by name and even changes our name to better reflect who He is and who we are to Him. Is there any significance behind the names you chose for your social media platforms (“stayclassybyjazzy”) and your podcast (“shy to shining”)?
Jasmine: I remember creating the name “stayclassybyjazzy” so vividly. During winter break of my senior year of high school, I sat at my dinner table and brainstormed several name ideas for the blog on a piece of printer paper. My original Instagram name was “stayclassyjazzy” and I chose the name “classy” because it rhymes with “jazzy”. But for the blog, I wanted “classy” to represent something different from the original definition, so I turned “classy” into an acronym that stands for “cherish life and simply surprise yourself.” In other words, I wanted my blog to be a place where I shared moments of my life to inspire others to see life as the gift it is and make the most of it each day. I popped in the words “stay” and “by” and thus “stayclassybyjazzy” was born. For “Shy to Shining”, the name came to me randomly one evening while working on another creative project idea. The phrase “from shy girl to shining star” entered my mind and immediately I opened a Google Doc and typed out anything that came to mind. After brainstorming and fleshing out the idea more, I simplified the name to “Shy to Shining.” This name is special to me because it symbolizes my personal growth journey from being a reserved kid in class who was afraid to speak up to a young adult who has found the confidence to share her story and life lessons online. It is very clear to me that God orchestrated both projects because they are unique to my story and who He has created me to be in this season of life.
How has your faith grown or changed through actively pursuing your ministry work? What has God taught you through these endeavors and projects?
Jasmine: I am honestly mind-blown by the season I am in currently with my faith walk. The kind of confidence I have and the level of comfortability I have regarding boldly sharing my faith online is wild to me sometimes. Like I mentioned earlier, I grew up in a Christian household, but I kept my faith journey private. I would like to think that others could tell that I operated differently from the world, but I never spoke up about the Bible or how God has played an important role in my life to my family or my friends. One pivotal thing I credit my boldness in sharing the gospel on my platforms is my Sunday “church notes” series. What started out as me sharing some of the notes I took in church randomly one Sunday with my followers turned into a consistent series I have been doing for over two years. Since sharing my church notes, I have become bolder in sharing my faith online which is something I didn’t see much of from my generation on social media at that time. From being bold with my faith and inviting God in my creative spaces, I have learned that I cannot do this on my own. There have been many times where I wanted to give up on my creative projects, but God reminded me that when I reach my capacity, I can trust that He will help me get to the next stage. Ultimately, my creative projects have helped me become more dependent on God and not my own doing.
What would you tell your younger self, the girl you were before you had thousands of eyes watching you and looking up to you? What pieces of wisdom would you give her concerning the amazing responsibility of ministering to hearts that is to come?
Jasmine: If I could go back in time, I would tell my younger self (pre-content creation) to not stress so much about the future.“Stayclassybyjazzy” was produced from a time of fear and uncertainty regarding my future career and college major path. I was so consumed by my future concerns, school, college admission, and extracurricular activities that I wasn’t engaging in anything that gave me pure joy. Content creation has given me joy and purpose in this season, and I would let my younger self know that God has great plans in store for her past her wildest dreams. I would also remind my younger self to give myself more credit. I tend to work without celebration, so I rarely ever stop, reflect, and pat myself on the back for the work I have done for others. Because of this, I often find myself serving from an empty cup, so I would remind her to establish a work-life balance. It’s okay to work hard and have fun at the same time!
What knowledge or advice would you give to a newbie, someone who might be in the shoes you’ve now outgrown?
Jasmine: Try to avoid the comparison trap. Self-doubt and comparison in the media/content creation industry can cause you to develop low self-esteem if you allow it. Trust me, it is something I am currently working through. When creating content, it’s easy to look to what other people are doing and compare your level of work to their level of work. This will be detrimental in the end because it’s impossible to compare your level C to someone’s level M. So instead of trying to do better than someone in your niche or community, try to focus on who God made you to be and what He has called you to do. When you work according to the plan and purpose God deposited in you, there’s no need to compare or self-doubt because you will be successful and make an impact in your own way. Also, be kind to yourself. You will inevitably make mistakes on this journey but choose to learn from those mistakes versus beating yourself up. If your friend were to make a mistake, you would speak kindly to them and uplift them. The same principle applies to you. Speak kindly to yourself and don’t let comparison keep you from bettering your craft and making a positive impact on the world.
Is there any sort of pressure, stress, doubt, or anxiety that comes from creating authentic content? And if so, is there a verse, passage, or even book of the Bible you run to to help you battle those things?
Jasmine: Philippians 4:13 is one of my go-to verses when I find myself in the comparison trap that I mentioned previously or if I have moments where I doubt my ability and my work. Creating content is a long game because it takes years to build a recognizable online presence and a loyal community. During the process of building, I often find myself becoming stressed about the content I put out in the world and I still become nervous when I am being vulnerable on my Instagram stories and in my Instagram captions. However, when I am feeling down, stressed, or doubtful, I remind myself that “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” I cannot do the Lord’s work on my own. That’s why it’s called the “Lord’s work” because He is the One who keeps us going when we want to quit. Without the help of God, I would have stopped making YouTube videos or building an online presence a long time ago, but I’m grateful to have scriptures like Philippians 4:13 to keep me grounded.
And finally, what is the core message you attempt to project in your content? Or what do you desire to leave your readers, viewers, or listeners with?
Jasmine: My hope is that anyone who comes across any of my work whether it is a YouTube video, an Instagram caption or story, or a podcast episode, I would want them to feel encouraged. Most importantly, I want them to feel the love of God and see the light of Jesus through me and my work. What I do and who I am is because of God! I give Him all the glory when it comes to the creative work I do because He is the One who deposited the gifts and the ideas in me. I am just a willing vessel who chose to be obedient and spread the gospel through my social media platforms to believers and non-believers. I also desire for people to know that the misconception that “young people” don’t care about God or the church is not true. We do care about God and the church and I am grateful to expose a snippet of my faith walk to others so they can be bold and unashamed to walk in their purpose while on Earth.
Isn't she just fabulous?! If you want to get to know Jasmine better and desire a deeper glimpse into who she is and all she's doing, you can follow her on YouTube and Instagram (as well as her podcast)! Check out the links below.