My name is Jasmin Kotek, but feel free to call me “Jas.” I am a native of Faribault, Minnesota, and a recent graduate of Minnesota State University Mankato. With degrees in Secondary Mathematics Education and Communication Studies, you will find me next fall pursuing my love for education as a math teacher.
My love for education has stemmed from my love of coaching. I spent my high school years on various dance teams and competition lines. Now, many years and lots of rhinestones later, I am the head coach of the Northfield Hiliners Dance Team in Northfield, MN taking on my seventh year of sharing a love for dance with our youth! And as of fall 2022, you can add “cheer coach” to my resume, as I will be a first-year cheer coach for the Tri-City United Cheer Team.
Besides coaching dance, I have found a love for working with our youth. I’ve been a Big Sister in Big Brothers Big Sisters, a mentor in Miller Mentoring, and now I have put on my sneakers to become a coach for the Mankato area Girls On The Run program!
When I am not buried nose deep in textbooks, or kicking high with my Hiliners, you can find me “crowning” around, in which I previously held the title of Miss South Central 2020-2021, and currently hold the title of Miss Hastings 2022.
Yet, my most prevalent passion is advocating for mental wellness. Upon participating in the Miss America Organization, I had the opportunity to write my own Social Impact Initiative (previously known as a “platform”), which is an area of interest in which a titleholder focuses during their year of service. From my personal, second-hand, and even afar experiences, my choice was clear, mental wellness. I was fortunate to turn my struggles with mental health into strengths. However, I fought this journey in what I felt was alone. Therefore, when the day comes to a close, my ultimate goal is to be the person I once needed myself for others.
To further promote my Social Impact Initiative and start to make the change I wanted to see; I helped found various 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations which strive to promote access to mental health resources and education. My interest in nonprofit volunteer work stems from the loss of my cousin Brandyn in 2008 as well as my Social Impact Initiative, “#MINDwell – Moving In New Directions for Mental Wellness.”
In correlation to expanding mental health awareness, I also have started to promote and make #ExhaleProject bracelets, learn more by visiting the #ExhaleProject page here. Furthermore, I have published my first children’s book, “Believe, Bella”, which was inspired by a favorite quote of mine – “believe in yourself and you’re halfway there”.
Feel free to reach out and contact me with whatever it may be! I look forward to hearing from you!