Freshman Destiny Armstrong has been diagnosed with diabetes for almost 11 years, but she doesn’t let it consume her. Instead, she focuses on others and making their lives better.
“If you’re able to wave at someone or smile or say hi…that might make their day or it might be able to help them get through a tough spot… How I see it is, I’m able to help somebody, they might be able to help someone else, and just have that huge chain. Or maybe they’ll end up remembering me, being like, ‘Oh, she did this for me. She’s going through a hard time. Maybe I could do this for her’,” Armstrong said.
Armstrong has also been heavily influenced by her military family members and their way of thinking.
“I’d like to say [that the military has given me a positive mindset]. My great uncle…he was a marine and he was as if a second father to me…I think of him every day when I go to JROTC,” Armstrong said. “And [the military mindset] does help you keep a straight mind and think about you want to reach for, your goals.”
Sergeant Major Wilder believes that Armstrong exemplifies this idea.
“She doesn’t try to push the limits, not her. She follows the line, you know, and she’s focused driven and she’s one of the tip-of-the-arrow kind of people, she’s gonna stay straight,” Wilder said.
Having a positive and focused mind is crucial to Armstrong, considering all the things looming over her head.
“If I drop too low, I’ll actually go into seize and that’s happened around 2 different times already. Even though I blackout and I don’t know anything about that, it’s still nerve-racking because that’s a couple minutes out of my life that I’ll never know…It’s a constant struggle trying to keep it at a certain range,” Armstrong said. “It’s also just me being a teenager. Hormones are going everywhere and that affects my blood sugar, so I’ll be fine one minute and then I’ll drop down low really quick and then I’ll get high again.”
When it does get to her, Armstrong is comforted by looking on the bright side.
“There are always people that have it hard…Just trying to keep optimistic [helps me stay calm] and trying to think of something better instead of trying to get depressed about something…just list all the pros instead of focusing on the cons,” Armstrong said.
Armstrong’s goal is to study criminal justice, graduate college, get her master’s degree, then join the army. She may not be able to do this, depending on how they react to her being diabetic. If they do not accept her, she wants to go to the police academy and work towards becoming a detective.
“I just know that I want to be able to make a difference and possibly make the world a better place,” Armstrong said. “If I can help someone, that’s it. I just want to give back to the community and possibly make this place safer for other kids to walk around so they don’t have to worry about carrying guns on their hips or worrying who’s going to end up jumping them if they turn their back.”
Wilder sees the potential for her to accomplish this or anything else she sets her mind to.
“When you see her, she’s always fired up. You know she’s got the can-do, I’m-not-going-to-quit attitude, and she lets no physical limitations stop her from accomplishing her objectives, no matter what it is,” Wilder said. “Wherever she wants to go, I think she’ll be able to achieve what she wants to achieve. She has the potential to be everything.”