Dr. Jasmine Jenkins
Jasmine Jenkins began her professional career as a Bilingual 4th grade teacher in Alief ISD. Recognizing that many of the challenges that she and her students faced on a daily basis stemmed from policy issues at the national, state, and local levels, she decided to pursue a master’s degree and Ph.D. in Political Science at the University of Houston and focused her research on education policy and school governance. Dr. Jenkins has worked as a new teacher advisor, curriculum specialist, and school director with Teach For America, and she served as the Manager of Community-Based Initiatives with Advantage Testing of Houston. She was also a founding member of the regional strategy team for the Organizing Network for Education (ONE) Houston and a 2016 candidate for the Texas State Board of Education. In addition to leading the Houston GPS team, Dr. Jenkins is an adjunct instructor at Rice University. A Pennsylvania native, Jasmine has been living and working in Houston since 2006, and she is passionate about expanding educational opportunities for all children.
Trista Bishop-Watt is an attorney and public relations professional. She received a Bachelor of Arts in Mass Communication – Public Relations from Texas State University in 2012, and earned her Juris Doctor from Washington and Lee University School of Law in 2015. Trista is passionate about helping build a better future for our youth, and before joining the Houston GPS team, she worked on public relations campaigns focused on youth health and prosperity. Trista is excited to advocate for better educational opportunities for students in Houston through research, transparency, and policy development.
Jasmine Colvin, a native Houstonian who is passionate about improving the educational experience for all children, began her management career in the banking industry in Bakersfield, CA. However, following her heart for public service, she returned to Houston and began her work with children. Jasmine was a middle school Math teacher, spending four years in Spring and Klein ISD. During her time in the classroom, she noticed how certain students were impacted by systemically discriminatory discipline policies and instructional practices on campus. In response, Jasmine became a founding member of her campus’ equity coalition, designed to target and address the racial and socio-economic barriers to a high-quality education. Jasmine attended Baylor University, where she was an International Studies major with a minor in Business Administration, and she received her Masters in Public Administration from the University of Houston.
Alberto "Beto" Castillo
Alberto Castillo, an undergrad at the University of Houston and an aspiring Pediatrician, believes in educational equity for all. As a native Houstonian, Beto learned quickly about the questionable polices and practices happening in school systems. Since high school, he has been dedicated to becoming more involved in school board systems to advocate for educational opportunities for kids and competent school leaders. Upon joining Houston GPS, Beto spent countless hours in the field, campaigning for candidates, managing door-to-door survey teams, conducting poll work, and creating impactful strategies to inform communities about the actions taking place in their school board. Beto hopes that his passion for increased educational opportunities and the general well-being of all children will create a spark for greater civic participation in the next generation.
Mia Thomas is working toward her bachelor’s degree in Education and Public Policy from The Pennsylvania State University. She is an active member of the College of Education Undergraduate Student Council and is a recipient of a Bunton-Waller Fellowship through the College of Education. When she was in high school, Mia attended the College of Education S.C.O.P.E. program; it was through this program that she became interested in issues of racism within the education system as well as concepts such as equity and social justice in education. After receiving her bachelor’s degree, Mia hopes to potentially earn a Master of Business. Her culminating goal would be to use her future educational expertise to help schools improve the quality of education for their students or help schools include a more diverse curriculum.