Destiny and younger sibling Jasmyn Jones discover there are a number of benefits to attending Benedictine University together
Lisle, Illinois ~ For years, Jasmyn Jones was always trying to keep up with her big sister Destiny.
But whether it was in a race down a city block or a competition to see who can lift more weights in the gym, the sisters channeled their competitiveness to excel in academics and athletics – both earning merit scholarships and starting roles on athletic teams at Benedictine University.
Though Destiny dominated most athletic competitions, it didn’t keep Jasmyn from standing out in her own way.
“Destiny always won. I don’t think I’ve ever won anything,” Jasmyn said. “We didn’t actually get into sports until high school. Then her competitiveness grew from there and she became this monster. She is always into competing, whether it’s running or lifting. Even though she is still not in track anymore, she could probably still beat me in a lot of the races.”
Jasmyn Jones, a Bilingual Journalism major, is a member of Benedictine’s women’s cross country and indoor/outdoor track teams. Destiny Jones, who also ran track and played on the women’s lacrosse team, is an Exercise and Sports Studies major at BenU.
Both are living their college dreams to the fullest with a full slate of daily commitments.
The daughters of Tony and Jennifer Jones of Lake in the Hills, Ill., have bonded not only as sisters, but also through their love and commitment to serving others. They get their competitiveness primarily from their father, but their mother also has a history of athletic accomplishments including qualifying for the Junior Olympic Games.
At Benedictine, Destiny is president of the executive board for Students for Veterans, served as speaker pro tempore of the Student Senate, was named the recipient of the 2016 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Scholarship and received the 2015 Celebrating Success Scholarship Award.
Not to be outdone by her big sister, Jasmyn has been blazing her own trail in the classroom, on the track and in the community. She has earned leadership and spirit awards since her freshman year; volunteers for national mission trips to serve the needy; serves as a writer, editor and social media coordinator for the campus student newspaper; and earned a marketing internship with Sodexo, the University’s food service vendor.
In her spare time, Jasmyn trains to run the 1500 meter for the BenU women’s track team and the 6K for the women’s cross country team; studies to become more fluent in Spanish; helps run Helping Hand, Healing Hearts, a student club she cofounded; and provides service work to the Ronald McDonald House Charities.
But Jasmyn’s life direction was not always so focused. Attending Benedictine was not a given just because her sister was at the University. It was the personal connections she made before even becoming a student that won her over.
“When my sister was a freshman, she became really close to Joan Henehan (director of Student Engagement and Leadership Development), so I got to become really close to her, too,” Jasmyn said. “Joan would invite me to all the stuff they do on campus, so I got to see Benedictine as a student rather than just someone looking in.
“I feel like I had this inside scoop of the school and I really liked it,” she added. “It was welcoming and just small enough where I didn’t know everyone, but I knew enough.”
Staff members like Henehan helped create a familiar, helpful and welcoming atmosphere that Jasmyn was seeking from a University.
Being at Benedictine has helped Jasmyn grow as a leader and focused her career goals. She plans to be a missionary and keep her journalism career as a fall back while she follows her heart.
“Jesus calls us to help others, so I take that very seriously,” she said. “I want to be out there and I want to be like Him because that’s what He did. I want to work with victims of sex trafficking. That’s my ultimate goal. But it takes a lot of mental preparation to help someone who has been through so much.”
Having a strong support system is critical to student and personal success. Jasmyn and Destiny both realized the truth of these concepts when their mother was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma while Jasmyn was a freshman in high school.
After beating cancer, Jennifer Jones made a commitment to a healthier lifestyle and began to better balance her life – values consistent with Benedictine’s teaching philosophy of educating and training the mind, body and spirit.
Now the entire family is committed to physical and personal excellence. The Joneses now run a martial arts school, Tactical Mixed Martial Arts in Lake in the Hills.
Likewise, going to the same college as one’s older sister isn’t always planned. But it does provide a welcome benefit.
“Being here with Destiny makes life easier, knowing that I have someone there to support me who always has my back,” Jasmyn said. “We are night owls, so pulling all-nighters with her, being able to relax together at the end of the day or watching scary movies together are fond memories at Benedictine we will always share.”
Benedictine University is located in Lisle, Illinois, just 25 miles west of Chicago, and has branch campuses in Springfield, Illinois, and Mesa, Arizona. Founded as a Catholic university in 1887, Benedictine enrolls more than 5,000 students in 59 undergraduate and 23 graduate programs. Forbes magazine named Benedictine among "America's Top Colleges" for the seventh consecutive year in 2017. Accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (hlcommission.org). For more information, contact (630) 829-6300, firstname.lastname@example.org or visit ben.edu.