Women’s Forum Fund $10K Winner Jasmin Lecadre Brings a Passion for Advocacy to the Field of Public Health

Women's Forum Fund scholarship winner, IMPACT Peer Mentor Supervisor and BMCC 2024 graduate Jasmin Lecadre, heading to NYU through the CCTOP transfer program in Fall 2024
Women's Forum Fund scholarship winner, IMPACT Peer Mentor Supervisor and BMCC 2024 graduate Jasmin Lecadre, heading to NYU through the CCTOP transfer program in Fall 2024

June 20, 2024

Jasmin Lecadre crossed the 2024 commencement stage on June 5 at Barclays Center in downtown Brooklyn and graduated from Borough of Manhattan Community College (BMCC/CUNY) with an Associate of Science (A.S.) degree in Science for Health.

This fall, she enters a bachelor’s degree program at New York University, having been accepted through the Community College Transfer Opportunity Program (CCTOP) at BMCC. Her major will be Nursing with a minor in Public/Community Health.

A returning student who raised her children and has held various roles in the field of healthcare for more than 20 years, Lecadre has also just named a winner of the Women’s Forum Education Fund Award of $10,000 for women over the age of 35.

“I thought it was never going to happen, then I got the letter saying I’d won the scholarship,” she says. “I couldn’t believe it.”

Lecadre grew up with nine siblings in Trinidad, the West Indies. Her father worked as a brick layer and her mother, a stay-at-home mom, helped make ends meet by selling food as a vendor at events like the annual Trinidad and Tobago Carnival.

“My parents are Caribbean at heart and value education—even though they did not get the opportunity to go further, themselves,” says Lecadre, who flew to Rochester, New York as soon as she graduated high school in 1997, and joined her sister who was already living there.

As her children grew up and graduated from BMCC, Lecadre found her calling.

“By the time I came to live with her, my older sister was attending the Rochester Institute of Technology for her graduate degree,” says Lecadre. “She originally came to the USA to live with her dad at about age 18, and attended school in Washington, D.C., for her undergraduate degree.”

L-R: Cameron Lecadre, Jasmin Lecadre and Loeline Lecadre
L-R: Cameron Lecadre, Jasmin Lecadre and Loeline Lecadre

Lecadre’s sister encouraged her to pursue her education, and at the time, Lecadre envisioned herself working in hotel management.

“I had a best friend in Trinidad who was a cook, and she was going to get a degree in culinary arts, while I focused on hotel management,” says Lecadre. The two young women had a plan to start their own hotel or resort together, having seen the tourist industry thrive in their home country.

“Then I realized I wanted to go a different direction, and started working in the field of healthcare,” says Lecadre. “I also got married, had my son at age 21 and daughter at 22.”

Lecadre’s daughter, Joeline Lecadre, graduated from BMCC in 2022, earning an Associate of Science (A.S.) degree in Art Foundations: Studio Art, with a focus on photography.

Lecadre’s son, Cameron Lecadre, graduated from BMCC in 2023 with an Associate of Science (A.S.) degree in Art Foundations: Studio Art, and a focus on drawing.

“My daughter is now attending the Fashion Institute of Technology, FIT, majoring in photography,” says Lecadre.

“My son is taking a year off from school, and works in logistics at Amazon. He wants to become an MTA operator—he’s been into maps and logistics for years. He’s interested in the CUNY School of Labor for his next degree.”

Working as a CNA in hospice care, Lecadre helped families cope.

“After having my children, I became a Patient Care Technician and then a Certified Nursing Assistant or CNA. I also studied to become a Licensed Practical Nurse, or LPN,” Lecadre says.

As a CNA, her focus was hospice care.

“I learned some of my biggest life lessons on that floor, working with families and talking with them about their loved one,” she says. “This was hard sometimes. People are not themselves, when they’re sick. I helped the families understand this.”

During this time, Lecadre also met a medical doctor who urged her to continue with her education.

“She encouraged me to look at a career as an RN, a Registered Nurse, or in public health,” Lecadre says. “She kept saying, ‘You’re really good with people, you get people to talk about stuff, I really think you should do it.’ That helped me take the next step.”

Once enrolled at BMCC, Lecadre transferred those communication skills into her work as a college assistant in the IMPACT Peer Mentor program.

“I’m still with IMPACT doing orientation through the summer peer mentoring program,” she says. “I’m working there as a college assistant, having started as a peer mentor, and now serving as a peer mentor supervisor, working with students through the BMCC Office of Accessibility.”

While earning her associate degree, Lecadre also worked as a volunteer with the BMCC Early Childhood Center—part of a partnership between Trinity Church and BMCC—and she has volunteered in the Panther Pantry to support students experiencing food insecurity.

Cohort groups where she met other high-achieving students included the Achievers group at BMCC, for students who maintain a 4.0 GPA, as well as the National Society of Leadership and Success (NSLS), Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society and Transfer Scholars Network (TSN).

Personal health struggles strengthened Lecadre’s commitment to the field of public health.

One life-changing event that guided Lecadre to earn her Science for Health degree at BMCC was being diagnosed with breast cancer in 2019.

“I had a mastectomy and needed a college that would not only understand me as an older, nontraditional student but would have resources to help me figure out my next move,” Lecadre says. “I knew I wanted to do something in the healthcare field but I didn’t know how to get there.”

During her onboarding workshops as a new student at BMCC, Lecadre met Dr. Leslie Rennis, chair of the Health Studies department, and decided to major in Science for Health.

“We also worked together when I did my internship through the Public Health Academy, PHA, at the Redhook Public Houses,” says Lecadre. “I was in charge of putting together workshops that helped educate the residents about  lead abatement and other health issues they needed to be aware of.”

Another person who was key to helping Lecadre find her path at BMCC was Sara Crosby, Director of the BMCC Learning Academy.

“She was an angel, she really helped me out,” says Lecadre. “They all kind of pitched in and helped me figure out where I wanted to put my focus.”

Lecadre is grateful for the support she received at BMCC and pays it forward by campaigning for other women who are looking to change their lives.

“I’m a member of a support group at Harlem Share, a nonprofit in Manhattan,” she says. “I encourage women affected by cancer to join the group, and I advocate for women’s health screenings with anyone I meet.”

“I tell them, it doesn’t only affect older women,” she says. “I was in my late thirties, early forties when I was diagnosed and undergoing treatment and interventions for breast cancer.”

This fall at NYU, Lecadre plans to apply that passion for advocacy and awareness of public health into her bachelor’s degree and her focus on Nursing with a minor in Public/Community Health.

“I might study abroad to get a more global perspective on health care, or move into research that impacts public health, and improves people’s lives,” Lecadre says.



  • Jasmin Lecadre, a nontraditional student who just won the Women’s Forum Fund scholarship of $10K, earned an Associate of Science (A.S.) degree at BMCC in Science for Health in June 2024

  • Through the Community College Transfer Opportunity Program (CCTOP), she enters NYU this fall to earn a bachelor’s degree in Nursing with a minor in Public/Community Health

  • A breast cancer survivor, Lecadre is committed to advocating for health screenings and other public health issues

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