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Shady Side Academy student Jasmine DeBruce honored by Junior Achievement, NexTier Bank

Shady Side Academy senior Jasmine DeBruce of Penn Hills has been named to the inaugural class of Junior Achievement of Western PA’s 18 Under Eighteen presented by NexTier Bank. The program celebrates 18 extraordinary students who are defining their generation through their entrepreneurial spirit, leadership and service to their communities.

“These amazing kids are entrepreneurs, social activists, scientists, entertainers and so much more,” said Patrice Matamoros, president of Junior Achievement of Western PA. “They are the innovators, progressors and providers of hope that are, and will continue to, move our region forward. JA is honored and excited to recognize these young people who make me optimistic for a bright future.”

DeBruce is an active advocate of social justice. At SSA, she serves as president of the Senior School Black Student Union, and she previously introduced the first Black Student Union at SSA Middle School.

DeBruce also created the Black Scholar Society, an organization dedicated to creating a network for future Black leaders in Pennsylvania and uplifting Black youths throughout the region by providing them with opportunities to grow their résumés, knowledge and experience. She hopes to turn the organization into a nonprofit. DeBruce plans to pursue a law degree and find internships on Capitol Hill and to continue her focus on social justice issues.

“Being recognized as a Junior Achievement honoree has contributed to my general excitement around networking with community leaders as well as broadening my social justice initiatives through utilizing the platforms that will be awarded to me as a result of this opportunity,” said DeBruce. “I am extremely grateful for Junior Achievement and look forward to working with them in the near and distant future.”

The 18 Under Eighteen class of 2022 features honorees ranging from 10 to 18 years old and representing a diverse cross-section of the region.

The honorees will be celebrated on Feb. 22, at 7 p.m. at the National Aviary on Pittsburgh’s North Side. In addition, JA is working to provide the 18 students with additional educational and leadership opportunities.

To learn more about the 18 Under Eighteen honorees or to purchase tickets to the Feb. 22 event, visit


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