Alumni Jennifer Davis graduated in 2010 and went on to the Navy. While in high school she participated in cross country, track and powerlifting.
What have you done after high school?
“After high school I enlisted in the navy,” Davis. “I am a nuclear chemist and radiological controls technician aboard the USS Theodore Roosevelt in San Diego, CA. Since my enlistment I have lived in South Carolina, New York, Virginia, and California. In 2015 I completed a world tour deployment visiting ports London, Bahrain, Dubai, Singapore, and Hawaii.”
What made you want to do what you are doing now?
“Honestly I joined the navy because I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do,” Davis said. “The Naval Nuclear Power Program is the most academically difficult program the navy has to offer for enlisted folk, so of course I jumped at the chance to join. The navy also gave me the freedom to be a young adult without the burden of living at home or taking on student loans to pay for a degree.”
Explain your job now, what you are doing, different aspects of your job.
“All of the navy’s aircraft carriers and submarines are nuclear powered,” Davis said. “An aircraft carrier’s mission is to transport planes to the Persian Gulf, so the pilots can put, ‘warheads on foreheads.’ My department’s job is to make steam that moves the ship and generate electrical power for everyone onboard. As a nuclear chemist, I sample the water that runs through the reactor and steam systems. As a radiological controls technician, I ensure everyone onboard is safe radiation/contamination exposure.”
What are your plans for the future?
“In 2018, I will separate from the navy,” Davis said. “My extensive naval training and tuition assistance have put me very close to finishing a Bachelor’s degree in Nuclear Engineering Technologies. I’ll be able to use the Post 9/11 GI Bill to finish that degree. All without setting foot in a college classroom or taking out a single student loan.”
What is your advice to current high schoolers?
“As a kid who took as many AP classes as possible,” Davis said. “I recommend you take the dual credit community college courses instead. There’s nothing wrong with starting at a community college to avoid racking up debt. Joining the military can be a great way to start your adult life while making money, traveling, and earning benefits.”