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Employee Profile: Jasmyn Ferbish

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During Black History Month, we remember the history of African Americans, celebrate the culture, and honor the accomplishments of past creators and current innovators. HHS-OIG Management Analyst Jasmyn Ferbish shares her personal connection to the importance of Black History Month.

Jasmyn describes Black History Month as a time to reflect and commemorate aspects of life that bring her family together. “We take time to remember our family history as well as America’s history. My father’s family is from Palmyra, VA and currently owns the land we were once slaves on. We often visit the land in May, over Memorial Day, and reflect on all that we have been through.”

Jasmyn Ferbish
Jasmyn Ferbish

Born to a D.C. native father and a Jamaican mother, Jasmyn was raised in Upper Marlboro, Maryland in the suburbs of Washington, D.C. Even while living in Jamaica, Jasmyn’s family took great interest in the social and political environment for Black individuals in America. She recounts her late grandfather’s decision to come to the U.S. for pastorship and his participation in marches for the Civil Rights Movement. Her family’s move to America is significant for Jasmyn, as it signifies her grandfather’s commitment to build bridges and achieving reconciliation.

Jasmyn also discussed how moving to the United States showed her mother “a different world,” where the color of her skin, for some, overshadowed the content of her character. “In Jamaica in the ‘60s, racism was not so prevalent, so my mother had to adjust her lifestyle here in America in ways she did not in Jamaica,” she says. Establishing a life in America required her mother to overcome these barriers and have faith that the change would bring advancement for her family. Jasmyn’s mother eventually became a teacher in Prince George’s (PG) County public schools and dutifully contributed to the advancement of children in their community.

Jasmyn herself attended a public elementary school and a Christian middle and high school in PG County. While 60 percent of residents in PG County are African American, Jasmyn went to school with students of various racial backgrounds and was able to build meaningful connections with people from diverse cultures.

Growing up in PG County provided a level of comfort that Jasmyn was not aware of until she attended college. “I had to quickly adapt to my new surroundings; no one looked like me, nor could they relate to my upbringing and culture. Stepping outside of my comfort zone allowed me to expand my understanding of diversity.” It was at the University of North Carolina at Wilmington, while pursuing her bachelor’s degree in biology, where Jasmyn experienced an environment very different from her upbringing in PG County.

Despite these differences, Jasmyn worked to find a sense of community like the one she had as a child. After feeling isolated, she joined an all-Black choir, where she found a sense of belonging and community.

Jasmyn brings her personal and familial experiences with community and caring for others to HHS-OIG. Protecting the health and well-being of people has always been at the center of Jasmyn’s mind, so a few years after graduating, she began her full-time career at HHS-OIG under the Student Temporary Employment Program. She started in 2009 in the budget office within OIG’s Office of Management and Policy. With her vibrant and upbeat personality, she quickly garnered the respect and fondness of her colleagues. In addition to her interpersonal skills, Jasmyn’s willingness to “go above and beyond” when performing her work won her team over. She states, "I get things done.”

Jasmyn, who also helps care for her paraplegic brother, is a champion for Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility (DEIA). She joined OIG’s DEIA Board because she wants OIG to be a place where everyone feels included. She also pours her time and attention into the community by serving breakfast, monthly, to individuals experiencing food insecurity at her church. Doing her part to improve the welfare of the public is indicative of the dedication she has for the health and well-being of her community.

When asked who her biggest inspiration is, Jasmyn names her grandfather. She explains how humble he was, and how bringing people together was his mission in life. “He strived to make peace and always had church at the center,” she says. Jasmyn is motivated daily to continue her grandfather’s mission of serving and uplifting her community.