The start of a new year is always a good time to set goals for yourself. Setting goals helps you work toward your dreams. Plus, achieving a goal, whether it’s big or small, feels great. It makes you proud and builds your confidence.
A few years ago, Jasmine Twitty decided she wanted to become a judge. She achieved her goal when she was 25. She’s the youngest judge in Easley, South Carolina. Super impressive, right? Read about Jasmine’s journey and the importance of working hard to meet your goals.
How old are you?
I just celebrated my 26th birthday. I was 25 when I was sworn in.
Recent headlines say you’re the youngest person to ever be sworn in as a judge in Easley, South Carolina. How does that feel?
Despite the headlines, no one has confirmed that I am the youngest person in the history of Easley to be sworn in, but I am definitely the youngest judge on the bench in Easley right now.
I feel blessed to be an inspiration to so many. The overwhelming support is empowering. My prayer is that every time I share my journey, someone walks away feeling confident in their abilities and determined to fulfill their dreams.
When did you realize you were interested in pursuing a career as a judge?
I always knew that I wanted to work for the government. I was intrigued by the different levels of government, policymaking, and law. I believe people in these fields have the responsibility to shape society, create change, and serve their communities. These responsibilities match my purpose in life.
How did you end up in your current positions?
I am an associate judge in Easley and a clerk in Greenville.
I graduated from the College of Charleston with a degree in political science. Less than six months later, I started working as a night court clerk at the only 24-hour court in South Carolina, right back in my hometown of Greenville.
As a court clerk, I have to be flexible, well-spoken, confident, personable, and able to adapt to new situations. The position requires clerks to stay on top of changes in laws and meet the needs of at least four judges. Some of my responsibilities include preparing legal documents and recording court proceedings. Working nights, weekends, and holidays in a court that never sleeps prepared me for the role of an associate judge.
After I mastered my duties, I began to focus seriously on pursuing a judgeship. I started researching openings in 2011, and it took a few years to find potential opportunities. I started applying in 2014, and it took a year to find my current judgeship in Easley. The first time I heard “no,” I questioned myself and my value. But I decided not to give up and changed my mindset. Instead, I used every “no” as a source of motivation. During that time, I continued to work on my resume and hone my skills. I was always reading new books and blogs and talking to other people in my field to learn more about their experiences.
Did you face any challenges along the way? If so, how did you deal with them?
I never thought I would return to my hometown of Greenville after college. Living where I had started made it hard to see my own accomplishments. Fortunately, it did not take long me to begin to create a life I enjoyed. I did this by getting plugged into the local community, volunteering at my old high school, serving on nonprofit boards that represent my interests, and investing in my professional growth. One of the very first things I did was help high school students apply for college and scholarships.
Additionally, I never imagined that I would sacrifice family and personal time by working nights, weekends, and holidays. So, what did I do? I viewed the 24-hour court as my training grounds. I fed my curiosity and asked about issues beyond my job description. For example, I wanted to know why laws changed and how the changes affected those they were created to protect. I also maximized the opportunity to learn from the judges.
What is the secret to your success?
Much of my success can be attributed to no-nonsense parenting and family members who did not allow me to make excuses. My mom always talked about the importance of discipline, and I’ve always kept that with me. Whenever I doubted myself, I have always had a village to remind me why I am worthy. My parents always believed in me.
I also think about my three younger siblings. I feel I have a responsibility to give back and be a good example for my siblings, my peers, and others.
What would you like girls to know about being professional and achieving their goals?
Be intentional. Your actions should correspond with your end goal. If you want to meet or exceed your goals, you must be disciplined and make choices that will help you get where you want to be. If I had not made the decision to aggressively pursue a judgeship and hone my craft, I would not be where I am today.
I do more than just “go to work.” I never turn down the opportunity to learn or hear from someone I respect. I make sure I introduce myself and talk to them about their experiences.
I also think volunteering with organizations you’re interested in can help you gain a lot of valuable skills you may not get in the workplace, especially at your current position. Through my volunteer work, I invest in my community and myself. I have gained great leadership skills that make me feel more confident.
When you’re not working, what activities do you do for fun?
I live to travel, so I do that every chance I get. I also love to try new cuisine and bold flavors.
Is there anything else you’d like to share?
Give yourself credit. It is okay to own your accomplishments. Acknowledging your gifts, strengths, and talents builds confidence, so never dim your light for the sake of making others feel comfortable.
Content last reviewed December 11, 2015
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