March-April 2019 | Parenting

Where Are They Now?

For the 10th year of the Bethesda Magazine Extraordinary Teen Awards, we checked in with some past winners

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Photo by Michael Becker.


Jassiem Dingle

2010 Extraordinary Teen 

Photo by Erick Gibson.

Then: At Rockville’s Thomas S. Wootton High School, Jassiem Dingle was a student ambassador, guiding visitors and greeting incoming freshmen, and was known for his smile and friendliness. He didn’t like to focus on the loss of his father in the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center, but said the experience made him want to become a “global citizen.”

Now: Dingle, now 26, says his father’s death has shaped the way he thinks about life, family and relationships. “It made me feel you have to cherish time you have with people,” says Dingle, who works in marketing and advertising in Los Angeles. “The memory of my father has really helped me focus on what I want to achieve in life. Thinking about who he was as a person—how he loved life, he loved people, that smile—being that light in the room is something I take to heart and try to emulate.”

Dingle earned his bachelor’s degree in international relations and the global economy from the University of Southern California. After graduation, he was hired by a global media agency to work on strategies for Adidas. Last year, Dingle took a job as manager of marketing and operations for The Seventh Spark Company, a startup that builds mobile apps and platforms for nonprofit organizations, including churches.

The creative vibe on the West Coast is appealing to Dingle, along with the laid-back culture. “It’s about working hard but also enjoying life,” he says. “Who is going to lie and say warm weather, palm trees and sunshine are not a draw as well?”