Yasmin John-Thorpe was born in the Caribbean on the island of Trinidad. In early childhood she learned the importance of reading and writing from her parents. Yasmin married a Canadian and came to Canada in 1975. She has two daughters and one grandson. Today, she is a children’s author, fiction and non-fiction writer, and mentor.
Yasmin has mentored young and older writers, by visiting schools to assist young students to hone their creative writing abilities and by teaching writing classes at Okanagan College, Penticton Campus for mature writers. In 1994, with the help of four writers, she co-founded the Penticton Writers and Publishers, to help other writers.
After hosting several creative writing contests for young Okanagan Valley writers in 2006–2008, Yasmin launched the British Columbia Youth Writers Camp for 8–18 year old writers. Camp was held annually at the Penticton Campus of Okanagan College until 2016.
Beginning in 2007, Yasmin organized a unique program for the South Okanagan through Raise a Reader, sponsored by the Penticton Herald newspapers. She invited authors and their books into school to discuss with students the importance of reading and writing. The RAR program gifted a copy of the author’s book to each student.
In 2010, at age 60, Yasmin trekked El Camino de Santiago de Compostella in Southern France across northern Spain to the Atlantic, a journey on foot of 500 miles, after which she wrote a coffee-table book about the experience, to raise funds for The Raise a Reader Program! The project generated over $35,000 for the purchase of books for students!
For her involvement with literacy and children Yasmin has been the recipient of several awards.
Awards and Recognition
British Columbia Community Achievement Award, April 28, 2010, for her spirit, imagination, dedication and contributions to her community, from Lieutenant Governor, Steven Point and Premier Gordon Campbell.
Okanagan College Honourary Fellow Award, June 5, 2012, for literacy (BC Youth Writers Camp and RAR Programs) and philanthropy (Rick and Yasmin Thorpe Scholarship Fund and Okanagan College Foundation), from President Jim Hamilton.
The Queen’s Jubilee Medal, May 2013, for her work with literacy, from Senator Richard Neufeld.
The Community Partnership Certificate of Recognition, June 10, 2013, for her work with Raise a Reader in schools, from School District 67 Board of Trustees Chair Ginny Manning.
Introduced to Prime Minister Stephen Harper, Summer 2013, by her Member of Parliament Dan Albas, as his first editor.
You can reach Yasmin John-Thorpe at: