By Patti Samar
Port Huron native Jazmyn Thomas is going to be a Really Big Deal.
Trust us on this one.
Thomas, 27, is a young professional who is making a positive impact on life in the Blue Water Area and beyond. And, as her personal light burns brightly, there is no stopping this energetic, self-proclaimed Type A personality, from continuing to grow and prosper as a “young woman to watch” in the Blue Water Area.
The 2010 graduate of Port Huron High School received a bachelor’s degree in social relations and policy in 2014 and a master’s degree in public administration from Oakland University in 2017. She currently works as an associate planner for Macomb Community Action of Macomb County, where she administers Housing and Urban Development (HUD) grants for 21 municipalities county-wide.
“I administer grants and make sure that compliance is met,” she said of her professional role. “I do housing rehab and bricks and mortar capital projects. I like dipping my hand in lots of different things.”
Prior to accepting a position in Macomb County, she worked in the planning department for the City of Port Huron for four years. She began that position as an intern in college, which led to part-time and then full-time work with the city.
“The opportunities in Port Huron provided me with the skills to move on to Macomb County,” she said. “It afforded me more opportunities.”
Since high school, Thomas has been an involved citizen.
“My mom is really big on volunteering,” she said. “She really ingrained that in me…the importance of giving back to your community.”
As a high school student, she was a member of the yearbook staff and National Honor Society, and was involved in other extracurricular activities, as well. She spent two years as a member of the Youth Advisory Council (YAC) of the Community Foundation of St. Clair County. Her participation in that organization had a direct impact on her working life today.
“My involvement with YAC was definitely my introduction to grant making,” she said. “YAC definitely contributed to where I’m at now.” YAC members are high school students from across the county who, as a group, delegate grant dollars to youth-oriented activities in St. Clair County.
“YAC exposed me to people outside of Port Huron…kids from Marysville, Algonac and all over St. Clair County,” she said. “You sit down together and you work together and do team building. I ran for parliamentarian and that was my first leadership role.”
Thomas was recently invited back to YAC, but this time as an advisor to the group. It is a role she is looking forward to undertaking.
“I like what the Community Foundation does,” she said. “I support their endeavors.”
Thomas is also a volunteer member of the City of Port Huron Planning Commission, and she has been actively involved in the Port Huron Chapter of the NAACP, having served as a member of its executive committee. She more recently became a member of a diversity committee spearheaded by former Marysville Mayor Dan Damman after a recent racial incident in the community.
In her spare time, Thomas likes to travel. She recently spent time on a Caribbean cruise, and in 2018 visited several countries in Europe.
Family is of utmost importance, as well.
“I’m really close to my family,” she said. “My family is a big reason I am still living in the area.”
And the Blue Water Area is all the better for her presence.