Navy Seabee seeks life as a student

Written by Muleskinner Staff

By NAPORSHA WILLIAMS
For the Muleskinner/digitalBURG
(WARRENSBURG, Mo., digitalBURG) — Not everyone sees joining the military as a way of escape. However, Jazmine Danielle Walker did.

PHOTO SUBMITTED BY JAZMINE DANIELLE WALKER
PHOTO SUBMITTED BY JAZMINE DANIELLE WALKER

Jazmine joined the military as a Navy Seabee in 2011 as a way of escaping her difficult life situation. The early mornings and lonely dark nights of boot camp were all worth the fight.
“I earned good money, made lifetime friends and decided my next steps in life all at once,” Jazmine said.
Since she had struggled her entire life, she had never imagined being so stable at just 18 years old. She knew she had to work hard and be dedicated to her life goals in order to blossom her way out of poverty.
“I bought my very own first car and provided myself with everything I needed,” Jazmine said. “I didn’t want to end up like my mother, not saying it negatively, but I wanted more, and I wanted to show my siblings they can become whatever they dreamed.”
She said she was open for challenges and ready to defeat all odds against her. Jazmine knew the direction in which she was headed.
Jazmine was born in St. Louis, Missouri, to Tishowna Rogers and Bobby Walker. She had a close loving relationship with her mother, but she didn’t really know her father. At a young age, Jazmine and her mother moved to Los Angeles, California, with the hope of starting a happier and more stable life. Instead, life got a little harder. Her mother had to work two full-time jobs. Jazmine also became responsible for looking after herself and her younger siblings. A move with her family back to St. Louis during her freshman year of high school began to change things.
Jazmine knew she would be leaving for Navy boot camp after graduation. She said the training was an intense two months for her.
“We had to sleep outside for a full week, and the only thing we could have is what we could fit in our backpacks,” Jazmine said. “I couldn’t even shower.”
She successfully completed boot camp on time, and she planned on attending a four-year university as a Navy reservist.
Jazmine’s first choice of schools was Central Missouri.
“UCM had my major, and it was a nice distance from home, but not too far,” Jazmine said.
Jazmine’s major is mechanical engineering technology with a minor in Africana studies. It took her some time to get comfortable and more involved on campus. She’s now the vice president of the Association of Black Collegians Dance Company.
“I love dance, and I’m getting better every day,” Jazmine said.
Ashley Williams, Jazmine’s dance sister, describes her as a dedicated, caring and beautiful person.
“She’s like my big sister, and I’ve only known her for a year and a half,” Williams said.
Jazmine said her struggles and challenges in life have made her the person she is today. She said she has many other goals she still wants to achieve.