My name is Javarri Beachum. I am a graduate of Port St. Joe Junior-Senior High School in Port St. Joe, Florida. I was born on July 20, 1995 in Panama City, Florida, but was brought back home to Port St. Joe to live for the rest of my childhood.
I can honestly say my early years were very interesting. Like every child, I was curious about the world around me; how it functions and how I fit into this balance of life that seemed like an endless safe haven of love and wonder. I grew up in a single parent household managed by my mother, Rosylan Beachum, along with the help of my Great Grandmother, Ella Mae Beachum, with three kids, my brother Michael, my sister Kiristen, and myself. We were always taken care of no matter how tough life got in the adult world which I did not yet understand.
The biggest and one of the most important steps in a child’s is the start of school. Besides the fact that a child begins learning in the womb, school is where a child not only grows intellectually, but one grows socially and emotionally. The start of my school days did not start in a daycare or in kindergarten or even at home (nothing against the homeschooled kids), but it started at Headstart. Headstart or North Florida Child Development (NFCD) was the place I had my first social, intellectual, and emotional beginning on a vast and varied scale.
At Headstart I started learning how to really cooperate with others, and any other, whether they looked, acted, or believed differently than I did. Here is where I learned how to accept and tolerate differences and ultimately respect them. Self-control is something that I think that humans in general learn throughout a lifetime, but I believe that at Headstart I learned how to be in control of my emotions as much as a kid of my age at the time should. As far as my intellect, to wrap it all up, at Headstart, not only did I learn new things, but I was taught to love learning. Most of the time a child’s curiosity is suppressed by adults because children like to interact with things in a way that is considered “plundering” or “meddling”, but Headstart was a place that I could go as a child to explore the world around me.
So how did this affect me later down the road? I was and still am intrigued by learning. One of the complacent behaviors that the recent generations have become captive to is taking education for granted. I can gladly say that I do not fall into the category of being a typical complacent American student. I began my high school career pushing myself from the start; telling myself that I will not get distracted taking my education for granted, and that I will consume every chance I had to better myself as a student and a citizen. This mentality that I possessed led me to play soccer in school and on club teams, to join Student Government as a Senator, NJROTC as somebody who was nobody, Fellowship of Christian Athletes, guitar class, Key Club, Math Club, Class Offices all years, and to participate in every type of volunteer and community event possible. But if the mentality wasn’t instilled in me when I was younger then all of these things would’ve been on the backburner.
No doubt about it the hardest thing to really throw myself into was Naval Junior Reserved Officer Training Corps or NJROTC. I could not get past the fact that it had anything to do with the military. Honestly I never had a real clue about what I wanted to do with my life until the very end of my junior year. By this time I had climbed in the ranks in NJROTC to the rank of Lieutenant Commander, holding the position of the Company Commander (“the” is capitalized because in bigger schools there are more than one, and a battalion commander heads them). All I can say is that one day I found myself alone in the NJROTC classroom looking at a picture of a fleet in the pacific. Somehow while gazing into this photo, I knew that this is what I wanted to do with my life and that is to serve my country. It is said not to act on spur of the moment feelings, but to give it some thought, and I did just that. I researched and interviewed and observed with my own senses what it was like to be in the U.S. Navy. Shortly after I found myself chasing a dream that for the amount of time that I had seemed possible, but not promising. I applied for the United States Naval Academy. I could have enlisted and took the easy routes into the Navy, but that was the problem, it was easy. I had met the qualifications and criteria, and I worked towards it in every way possible. Here I am a year later getting an LOA or Letter of Appointment to the United States Naval Academy Preparatory School. I also had other options: I had an appointment to the United States Military Academy Preparatory School and an Naval Reserve Officer Training Corps (NROTC) scholarship to Florida State University or the University of North Florida worth more than $180,000. I was also accepted to various other schools as well. The bottom line is that I had mentality presented to me that I accepted as a young child in Headstart. Of course there are many other sources that deserve credit for my accomplishments, such as my family, church family, friends, and many teachers along the way, but I do not want North Florida Child Development to be left out of the equation. And I owe everyone in the organization then and now big thank you from the bottom of my heart.