While most Nikiski Middle-Senior High School 2000 graduates plan for the events to come, one young woman already has memories and a future in the U.S. Marine Corps.
Private first class Jacinda Broussard, 17, started her senior year like most, with plans of graduating May 22. But with enough credits under her belt after the first semester, she embarked on a journey she had always wanted.
On Nov. 21, Pfc. Broussard enlisted in the U.S. Marines Delayed Entry Program. She left for boot camp Feb. 21 at Parris Island, S.C.
For Broussard, school did not stop the day she left high school.
During boot camp, she endured physical training and attended classes, where she studied and was tested on basic military knowledge.
"It was just like regular school," she said.
Before graduating, Marines must complete an endurance test called the Crucible. During the 54-hour test, the students overcome obstacles requiring team work. They are allowed only eight hours of sleep and two and a half meals during the test.
After completing the Crucible on May 11, Broussard's Senior Drill Instructor presented her with the Eagle, Globe and Anchor, a Marine Corps emblem.
For Broussard, the moment she received her emblem, she said she became a real Marine.
"It is a very prideful moment, the best moment in the world," she said.
On May 19, Broussard graduated boot camp in South Carolina and flew back to Alaska to attend her high school graduation.
Though walking with her class was a memorable moment, her big event had already passed.
"My big graduation was at Parris Island," she said.
So with the class of 2000, Pfc. Broussard walked on stage to receive her high school diploma. But unlike the rest of the 63 men and women, under her gown Broussard wore her dressiest uniform, her "dress blue bravos," and a smile of accomplishment.
Broussard returned home to graduate on a 10-day leave. She will travel to North Carolina for further training and then she will attend school in California for communications electronics.
"I wanted to be a good influence," she said.
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