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Our Success Stories

LT Javarri Beachum with his wife, Melissa, and his in-laws at his promotion to Lieutenant.

Meet Javarri Beachum

Hello, Javarri Beachum here, and I want to share a little about myself to give you some insight into the important work of North Florida Child Development (NFCD). I am a 2013 graduate of Port St. Joe Junior-Senior High School in Port St. Joe, Florida. I was born in 1995 in Panama City, Florida, but was brought back home to Port St. Joe to live for the rest of my childhood.

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 haven of love and wonder. I grew up in a single parent household managed by my mother with my brother and sister. We were always taken care of and supported no matter how tough life got in the adult world which I did not yet understand.  It truly took a village for all of us to thrive; which we found in our family and the community.

One of the most important steps in a child’s life is the start of school.  Early childhood development should not be taken lightly, and it’s important for all children to be given an equal chance to thrive since they are the future of the country and the world.  There are many theories of about child development; Vygotsky’s and Bandura’s Social Cognitive Theories, Piaget’s Cognitive Theory, Erikson and Freud’s Psychoanalytic Theories, and Information Processing Theory; all of these are just examples of human development, and they all have one common theme.  The common theme is that no matter where development across the lifespan ends, the beginning is the same, which is early childhood no matter the key factors emphasize.  The truth is more than likely a hybrid of all the theories as to what the most important influencers are, but this is the point of the North Florida Child Development and Headstart – which is one of the funding sources.  As a child in a low-income, single-parent family structure with multiple children, daycare was not really an option nor was a ton of learning and special attention at home.  Not that I did not learn at home, but circumstance was surely a factor.  It really started at NFCD, the place I had my first social, intellectual, and emotional beginning on a vast and varied scale outside of home.

At NFCD, I learned how to cooperate with other children and adults whether they looked, acted, or believed differently than I did. Here is I learned how to accept and tolerate differences and ultimately respect and recognize those differences a beautiful part of the world in which we live. I personally believe that self-control is a trait that humans are continually learning throughout a lifetime, but I believe that at NFCD I learned control and the ability to be introspective in order improve my cognitive development as much as possible. At NFCD, not only did I learn new things, but I learned 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 NFCD was a place that I could go as a child to explore the world around me while being guided to accomplish things of which I was not yet capable.

There are no direct quantitative or qualitative data to show the effectiveness of NFCD, but I realize now the program aided in leveling the playing field for me have the same opportunities as anyone else.  Ultimately life came down to the series of decisions I have made, so I had to make cognitive efforts.  I was and still am intrigued by learning. I can gladly say that I did not fall into the category of being a typical, complacent, or ungrateful American student because I did not have the safety net of a secured finances to get me to the next level of educational journey. I began my high school career pushing myself from the start; telling myself that I would not get distracted or take my education for granted. I consumed every chance I had to better myself as a student and a citizen. This mentality that I possessed led me to be involved in every program the educational system offered from sports to clubs and community volunteer events.  If I had not chosen to embody the principles that I’d been taught at a young age, then life would’ve turned out very differently.  After all, what choice did I have if I was going to make something of myself by doing the hard things in life.

No doubt about it, the hardest thing to really throw myself into was Naval Junior Reserved Officer Training Corps in high school. I could not get past the fact that it had anything to do with the military. By this time, I realized I had a somewhat of a knack for leading people. One day I found myself looking at a picture of a Carrier Strike Group, and while gazing into this photo, I knew that this was what I wanted to serve my country for the immediate future. I researched and observed what it would be like to be a part of the U.S. Navy. I felt it was a long shot, but I applied for the United States Naval Academy. I could have enlisted and took the easy route into the Navy, but that was the problem, it was easy. My senior year I earned an Appointment to the United States Naval Academy Preparatory School in Newport, RI and later to the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis, MD. I had other options; an appointment to the United States Military Academy Preparatory School and a Naval Reserve Officer Training Corps (NROTC) scholarship to Florida State University. I was also accepted to various other schools as well and some with scholarships to play soccer. The bottom line is that I had embraced a mentality that emphasized striving for excellence that was presented to a young child in Headstart, so I created those options for myself within the choices I made every day. Of course there are many other sources that deserve some credit for my accomplishments, such as my family, church family, friends, and many teachers along the way, but I do not want NFCD 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 for establishing a great educational foundation, on which I could build upon for the entirety of my life.

I am currently a Lieutenant in the United States Navy, working in the Information Warfare Community as an Oceanographer. I have enjoyed my time in the Navy so far, but I am in the middle of a transition.  My passions always were to help people and see the direct impact from that.  This is why I am continuing my education in the medical field.  I am pursuing matriculation into a Master’s of Nursing program as my next career to become a Registered Nurse Anesthetist. I am enjoying the journey and maybe I’ll be able to combine my passions for serving by becoming a Nurse for the United States Navy.  Only time will tell since my life and family are growing in other ways.  I am married to my beautiful wife Melissa, and as we venture into parenthood, our priorities have certainly shifted to laying a strong foundation for our children to have the opportunity to give back to the world in any way they choose.