It has been a whirlwind year for Philadelphia school teacher Jasmyn Wright who has taken her empowerment mantra from the classroom to a worldwide advertisement for the Gap.
Wright's "Push Through It" chant, which went viral on social media last November following the divisive presidential election, is now the centerpiece of Gap’s newest back to school advertisement.
“I didn’t except to get such worldly recognition. I just really wanted to inspire my babies — they’re smart students.” [[401739675, C]]
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Just like the mantra’s roots, the video features Wright and 14 students in her Frederick Douglass Mastery Charter School classroom performing their morning ritual.
“What if it’s too hard?” She asks her students.
“I’m gonna push through!” The kids shout.
Wright originally posted a video of the chant to Facebook the day after the 2016 presidential election to enlighten the spirits of her students. [[401740005, C]]
The post soon went viral, garnering over four million views and landing her a spot on the Today Show.
Gap contacted her in late March about adapting the video for a commercial, she said. They even sponsored shirts for Wright’s third grade classroom.
Between dressing, makeup, lighting, and reversals, the shooting took eight hours, but Wright says that was no problem for her students.
"They were very excited, they felt like they were celebrities," she said. [[437018843, C]]
The video ends with the text "Back to school. Forward with confidence" — a message that Wright wants her students to take to heart.
"Ordinary people can make a difference,” she said. “It doesn’t take a rich person or a special kind of person to be special in the world.” [[401739675, C]]
Since the new publicity, Wright has gone beyond the daily responsibilities as teacher. She has been booked for motivational speaking engagements and professional development sessions, as well as continuing her work as a spoken word poet.
She founded the Push Through Organization, which strives to help everyone achieve their full potential. She was also interviewed for a documentary that Gap is producing.
“This is a first time journey for me, I love it, and I’m excited,” she said. [[435855863, C]]
The countless messages Wright receives from people of all races, religions, and communities inspires her to keep the message going.
Back in the classroom, even the kids are on board. Wright says they are always pestering her to make another video to inspire more people.
“It’s such a positive, beautiful feeling,” Wright said about the support. "I always thought about what was right in front of me — now I have a responsibility to do more and share more."