Jasmine Streator

Streator, pictured above, poses with her daughter Lei’Lani Reynolds, who is now 2 years old.

SIUE will award a posthumous degree to a student who was killed in a car crash earlier this year. The late Jasmine Streator, 26, will receive a bachelor’s degree in social work in the fall commencement. She died in a crash on Interstate 70 in June.

Streator was focused on her schooling and helped her peers do the same, according to her friend and classmate Carla Lybarger, a grad student from Edwardsville.

“She mommed the heck out of her friends. She’d be like, ‘Carla; did you get your homework done?’ I’d be like, ‘Oh yeah, I got done, girl.’ and she’s like, ‘Okay.’ and then she would talk to her other friend and be like, ‘You know this is due at noon. Like, what are you doing? What is your excuse? You need to get your work done,’” Lybarger said. “Because she said that was her thing, she just wanted her friends to succeed just as badly as she wanted to succeed.”

Lybarger said she met Streator through classes and bonded with her because they were both mothers. She said it was nice to have someone else to understand what they were dealing with. Streator was determined to succeed in order to show her daughter, two and half year-old Lei’Lani that it could be done, according to Lybarger.

“We see Lei all the time, we would see Lei at study groups, we would see Lei every time we would walk the trails, she would have Lei because she didn’t have the options I did, but she made sure that she was telling us, ‘I’m getting this degree to show Lei, I’m going to do what I have to do,’” Lybarger said.

Lybarger said some of the teachers in the program helped make this possible by allowing students to bring their children on certain days, rather than not come to class at all. She also said that Streator’s natural motherly instinct had a lot to do with why she was in the program.

“She grew up seeing young men going into prison or jail or issues that she thought could help. ‘I’m going to help them get a different path. I’m going to do what I have to do.’ That’s how she talked about it. She would say, ‘These are someone’s babies, and I’m going to get them out,’” Lybarger said.

When Streator became pregnant with Lei’Lani, which caused a few setbacks, she was dedicated to achieving her degree, Dominic Reynolds said. He is Lei’Lani’s father, and a senior with a degree in the accelerated nursing program from East St. Louis.

“The fact that you know, we had that surprise pregnancy that we did not plan and kind of came out of nowhere that made her take a semester off. I think it obviously added time to her plan that we didn’t expect,” Reynolds said. “But she took it on the chin like a champ and didn’t make excuses for it.”

Reynolds said after their daughter was born, she worked even harder than before as a full-time mom and student, while working full time as well.

“She was getting work done, staying up extra to finish work, have Lei, take care of Lei, make dinner for her and put her to sleep, and then stay up until whatever time she needed to complete assignments and do projects,” Reynolds said. “I’ve literally watched Jasmine do everything in the house and then wake up in the middle of the night just to get an assignment before the deadline.

Reynolds said originally, Streator was going to be a special education teacher, but had hit some roadblocks in her schooling. This gave her time to reflect on what she really wanted to do and helped her find her true calling, he said, having a larger impact on the people she wanted to serve.

“Her big thing was she wanted to really help people who are stuck in the prison system unfairly and then on top of that she wanted to find a way to help people rebound from being institutionalized,” Reynolds said.

Lybarger said that Streator was a teacher to many people, especially when it came to dismantling racism in the social work program and always searching for ways to stop it.

“She would hear something, or someone would say something, and she would show up and be like, “Hey, like, this is why you don’t say that. This is why you don’t do that. If you’re going to be a social worker, you need to make sure you’re aware of every bias,’” Lybarger said.

Reynolds said that while Streator had a plan to work eventually in the prison system, her main goal was to help at-risk kids in the system.

“She really wanted to touch as many people as she could. Jas was actually adopted, and I think that’s a big reason why she was trying to help kids who find themselves in the system or at risk for it,” Reynolds said.

Reynolds said Streator was very passionate about being one of the first people in her family to get a degree and setting a good example for Lei’Lani. He also said that she was a good friend.

“She was always very caring, a very happy person. She really, really cared about her friends and she would honestly, probably give them the shirt off her back if need be. She was a very devoted mother. [She] loved her daughter more than anything in the world,” Reynolds said.

SIUE will award a posthumous degree to a student who was killed in a car crash earlier this year. The late Jasmine Streator, 26, will receive a bachelor’s degree in social work in the fall commencement. She died in a crash on Interstate 70 in June.

Streator was focused on her schooling and helped her peers do the same, according to her friend and classmate Carla Lybarger, a grad student from Edwardsville.

“She mommed the heck out of her friends. She’d be like, ‘Carla; did you get your homework done?’ I’d be like, ‘Oh yeah, I got done, girl.’ and she’s like, ‘Okay.’ and then she would talk to her other friend and be like, ‘You know this is due at noon. Like, what are you doing? What is your excuse? You need to get your work done,’” Lybarger said. “Because she said that was her thing, she just wanted her friends to succeed just as badly as she wanted to succeed.”

Lybarger said she met Streator through classes and bonded with her because they were both mothers. She said it was nice to have someone else to understand what they were dealing with. Streator was determined to succeed in order to show her daughter, two and half year-old Lei’Lani that it could be done, according to Lybarger.

“We see Lei all the time, we would see Lei at study groups, we would see Lei every time we would walk the trails, she would have Lei because she didn’t have the options I did, but she made sure that she was telling us, ‘I’m getting this degree to show Lei, I’m going to do what I have to do,’” Lybarger said.

Lybarger said some of the teachers in the program helped make this possible by allowing students to bring their children on certain days, rather than not come to class at all. She also said that Streator’s natural motherly instinct had a lot to do with why she was in the program.

“She grew up seeing young men going into prison or jail or issues that she thought could help. ‘I’m going to help them get a different path. I’m going to do what I have to do.’ That’s how she talked about it. She would say, ‘These are someone’s babies, and I’m going to get them out,’” Lybarger said.

When Streator became pregnant with Lei’Lani, which caused a few setbacks, she was dedicated to achieving her degree, Dominic Reynolds said. He is Lei’Lani’s father, and a senior with a degree in the accelerated nursing program from East St. Louis.

“The fact that you know, we had that surprise pregnancy that we did not plan and kind of came out of nowhere that made her take a semester off. I think it obviously added time to her plan that we didn’t expect,” Reynolds said. “But she took it on the chin like a champ and didn’t make excuses for it.”

Reynolds said after their daughter was born, she worked even harder than before as a full-time mom and student, while working full time as well.

“She was getting work done, staying up extra to finish work, have Lei, take care of Lei, make dinner for her and put her to sleep, and then stay up until whatever time she needed to complete assignments and do projects,” Reynolds said. “I’ve literally watched Jasmine do everything in the house and then wake up in the middle of the night just to get an assignment before the deadline.

Reynolds said originally, Streator was going to be a special education teacher, but had hit some roadblocks in her schooling. This gave her time to reflect on what she really wanted to do and helped her find her true calling, he said, having a larger impact on the people she wanted to serve.

“Her big thing was she wanted to really help people who are stuck in the prison system unfairly and then on top of that she wanted to find a way to help people rebound from being institutionalized,” Reynolds said.

Lybarger said that Streator was a teacher to many people, especially when it came to dismantling racism in the social work program and always searching for ways to stop it.

“She would hear something, or someone would say something, and she would show up and be like, “Hey, like, this is why you don’t say that. This is why you don’t do that. If you’re going to be a social worker, you need to make sure you’re aware of every bias,’” Lybarger said.

Reynolds said that while Streator had a plan to work eventually in the prison system, her main goal was to help at-risk kids in the system.

“She really wanted to touch as many people as she could. Jas was actually adopted, and I think that’s a big reason why she was trying to help kids who find themselves in the system or at risk for it,” Reynolds said.

Reynolds said Streator was very passionate about being one of the first people in her family to get a degree and setting a good example for Lei’Lani. He also said that she was a good friend.

“She was always very caring, a very happy person. She really, really cared about her friends and she would honestly, probably give them the shirt off her back if need be. She was a very devoted mother. [She] loved her daughter more than anything in the world,” Reynolds said.

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