Yasmine “YazzieSpeaks” Arrington was born and raised in Washington, DC and attended DC Public Schools. She is a 2015 graduate from Elon University with a Bachelor of Arts in Strategic Communications and History. Yasmine earned her Master of Divinity degree from the Howard University School of Divinity in May 2018. Yasmine graduated from Benjamin Banneker Academic High School in Washington, DC in 2011. Yasmine is the author of Daily Reflections for Social Entrepreneurs Journal.
In 2010, while a junior in high school, Yasmine founded the non-profit ScholarCHIPS (www.scholarchipsfund.org), an organization that provides college scholarships, mentoring and a peer support network to children of incarcerated parents, inspiring them to complete their college education. To date, ScholarCHIPS has awarded over $300,000 in college scholarships to 77 scholars, with 32 graduates to date. Yasmine is also the Founder of IncarciCare, LLC, an online platform that allows people to purchase care packages for incarcerated loved ones, returning citizens and those on home confinement.
Yasmine has been featured in TeenVogue, Essence, Black Enterprise, Forbes Magazine, The Washington Post, and the Baltimore Times, and on ABC7 News WJLA and NBC4 for her community work with ScholarCHIPS. Yasmine is a recipient of several awards including the Washington Business Journal Top 40 Under 40 (2021), the Linowes Leadership Award from the Greater Washington Community Foundation, the Peace First Prize, the DC Social Innovation Prize, Angel Among Us Award by the Negro Council of Women, the Samuel Huntington Public Service Award, the Samuel Halperin Public Service Award, Radio One WKYS Top 30 Under 30, and others.
Yasmine loves interacting with ScholarCHIPS’ scholars, alumni and their families and serving as a near-peer mentor to the organization’s scholars and as an advocate for children of incarcerated parents, incarcerated individuals, and returning citizens. She looks forward to continuing to work in partnership with ScholarCHIPS’ Board of Directors and staff to expand the capacity and sustainability of ScholarCHIPS to ensure that children with incarcerated parents have the holistic support they need to graduate from college and be successful in life for generations to come. In doing this work, scholar-by-scholar, ScholarCHIPS is breaking down the taboo, stigma, the burden of shame and societal systemic barriers that disadvantaged youth often face in pursuing higher education, ultimately, breaking cycles of poverty and incarceration.