Prom Court 2023: Beauty Inside Out

Jazmine Retamal shares about how the lessons she’s learned as a cheerleader and a journaler have helped her find peace


Alyssa Garcia

Jazmine Retamal

Jazmine Retamal has always dreamed of living the perfect high school life. 

There’s a checklist for this: being a cheerleader, dressing in cute Y2K fashion, having a football boyfriend, and winning prom court.

Check . . . check . . . check . . . we’ll find out Saturday.

All those ideas are on the outside. They are what everyone sees. On the outside, Jazmine looks like the outgoing girl who puts herself out there.

But inside, that’s not necessarily the case.

“I’m very shy,” Jazzy—as she’s known to her friends—says. “So it’s hard to put myself out there.”

What everyone sees when she performs with the cheer squad is just that—a performance. In reality she’s actually shy and reserved.

Jazmine Retamal (Alyssa Garcia)

Cheerleading provides Jazzy a space where she can be her true self and present her passion for the activity. Jazzy has been involved with Colton’s varsity cheerleading team for the past four years. During this time, she has learned a lot about herself. Although the sport has several events throughout the school year that require socializing, it brings out a side of her she doesn’t usually show.

“It’s honestly fun getting out of my comfort zone,” she says. “It’s like a major shift. Once I put that uniform on, I feel like performing.”

In many ways, Jazzy’s passion for cheerleading begins with her family. What most people don’t know is that she has a large family consisting of six siblings, her biological parents, and her step-mom. Her main inspiration is her parents; they have always motivated her to keep her grades up and to not lose her passion so she can thrive in her adult years. 

However, her step-mom is especially important because she was also involved in cheerleading, and has been a real source of encouragement. She has always looked up to her step-mom the most. 

It is with pride that Jazzy talks about her step-mom. “She has always been a good independent woman, so that’s why she inspires me the most. She said I’m like a representation of her.”

Jazmine Retamal (Alyssa Garcia)

Cheerleading has brought incredible joy to Jazzy’s life, and for as much as it has brought her out of her shell, she is still the same introverted young woman who is searching for truth and understanding of herself and the world around her.

When speaking of motivation, Jazzy finds that she gets a deeper understanding of herself when she writes in her journal. Journaling has helped her feel more connected to her feelings and moral principles when she writes about the feelings she usually keeps to herself. 

Jazzy began journaling by doing shadow work, which is a type of psychological therapy that aids people in identifying and processing emotions. “I’ve always been spiritual. but I feel like I’ve gotten more in depth with it and it has brought me more peace.”

She is finding this peace at the perfect time of her life, as she nears the end of her high school years and prepares for the adult world beyond. The lessons learned as a cheerleader, and those she has discovered through self-reflection will serve her well.

They may even help her check off that final box on her “perfect high school life” checklist this Saturday night as she hopes to take home the Prom Queen crown.