PARKERSBURG — Neva Bryant, 18, plans to pursue a political career by joining the West Virginia National Guard.
“I chose the WVANG because it allows me to simultaneously serve my state while earning my college degree,” she says. “I will have the opportunity to learn skills and have life experiences that many others will not have.”
Bryant signed up to become a horizontal construction engineer and will use different types of heavy equipment during his time in the Guard. She leaves for AIT boot camp and professional training on July 19.
“I’m nervous but excited” she said, about going to boot camp.
Bryant said she was proud to serve West Virginia.
“I love my state very much and look forward to serving it proudly,” she says. “However, the laws and values here make it difficult for young people like me to stay or return after receiving an education. I hope to see West Virginia and its people begin to re-evaluate how we treat our mothers, our sisters, our daughters and our minorities and away from archaic laws and thoughts that hold us back.
Bryant recently graduated from Parkersburg Catholic High School with a 3.5 GPA.
“I really enjoyed the smaller environment that allowed me to cultivate relationships with my teachers, many of whom I’m still very close with,” she says.
She has participated in volleyball, basketball, cheer and baseball, as well as Parkersburg Catholic’s annual drama production and the Quiz Bowl. While in high school, Bryant took all the honors classes she could and a college English course to help prepare her for the next level of education.
Bryant has been accepted to her college of choice, Shepherd University in Shepherdstown, W.Va., and will start in January.
“I plan to study political science and international relations which I plan to use to start a career in public service,” she says.
After college, Bryant hopes to work in Washington, DC, in government or with the US State Department at an embassy.
“I want to be able to live comfortably and have a job that fulfills me and allows me to travel,” she says.
Bryant has volunteered in the past at Camden Clark in efforts to help employees and patients. She also spent a summer as a teen guide on Blennerhassett Island.
“I have volunteered for several political campaigns and I also volunteer for Parkersburg Pride, a 501c3 organization that works to make MOV a more equitable and welcoming place.” she says. “With each experience, I found satisfaction in a different way. These opportunities have helped me build my confidence, given me the chance to learn new things and meet new people.
In his spare time, Bryant enjoys swimming, fishing, watching movies, and spending time with friends and family. She also enjoys spending time with her two dogs, Burgh and Peat.
James Dobbs can be contacted at [email protected]