Pennsauken’s Wright Encourages Students To “Push Through” Adversity

By Frank Sinatra, AAP Editor

Pennsauken native Jasmyn Wright and her third grade class in North Philadelphia have gained international notoriety after their empowering YouTube video went viral.

Wright, a member of Pennsauken High School’s graduating class of 2006, teaches bright and eager third graders at Frederick Douglas Mastery Charter School. She incorporates spoken word into her classroom, creating mantras and mottos filled with positive messages. One in particular encourages her students to “push through” adversity and challenges.

“I’ve always taught resilience in the classroom for the past seven years,” explains Wright. “Some kids don’t know how to be students. They don’t know the benefits of enduring. I knew that if my students didn’t maximize their resilience, they would never achieve their potential. In the classroom, we substituted the word resilience with ‘push through.’ If I can do it, you can do it too. Eventually, I just heard the words in my head for our Push Through Mantra. I went to work and practiced it with them. We made it ours.”

At the encouragement of her students, she uploaded the video to YouTube; and what started out as a simple mantra has turned into a huge internet sensation.

“I originally posted it in November. It had 15,000 views before I got home from school and 150,000 views the next day,” says Wright. “In several days, the video had reached 3.5 million views. I didn’t expect it to go viral.”

The popularity of the video led to an appearance on The Today Show, interviews by the Huffington Post and NPR, speaking engagements for major corporations and at international conferences, and most recently, one of a series of short online films created by GapKids that shine a light on community heroes who are inspiring kids through confidence, focus, creativity, and kindness.

“GapKids was looking for inspiring teachers for their 2017 back to school campaign, ‘Back to school. Forward with confidence.’ They saw the video of the class and reached out to my principal.”

But what amazes Wright the most is the response she’s getting from everyday people from around the world. The positive message she’s instilled in her students is touching the lives of many more people than she expected.

“I have all of these people contacting me all over world, telling me their personal stories and what the mantra means to them,” says Wright. “I didn’t expect the world to benefit from it. It’s fostered a new sense responsibility in me.

“It’s beautiful that you don’t have to be rich or a different skin color; you don’t need to be a certain age or have a degree in order to make a difference in people’s lives. You’re just as good as anybody else.”

And that message that has touched the lives of so many got its start right here in Pennsauken.

“Pennsauken is a great, diverse community. It’s a good town. Living there added to my well-roundedness, to not be afraid of differences, to connect with everyone. I love Pennsauken schools. I’ve never met a school system that is so diverse, that keeps it real. Pennsauken has been real supportive. People have been reaching out. I love the town that I’m from. I’m glad I grew up here.”

For more information about Jasmyn and her work to impact the lives of young people, visit

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