Kenmore senior finds camaraderie and opportunity in military
Isaiah Sears-Gooding remembers the first time he met Marines.
“They made an impact on my life,” he says.
Sears-Gooding, a Kenmore High School senior who decided to graduate from Akron Public Schools after moving several times during his childhood, had participated in an activity day after a week of testing in grade school. Marines helped coordinate this special day for students, which included snacks and games.
“When I talked to the Marines during the event, they seemed professional; I liked their uniforms,” Sears-Gooding says. He recalls seeing similar uniforms in video games that depict combat on screens, but actually meeting Marines made Sears-Gooding realize just how real those situations can be.
From then on, Sears-Gooding felt enlisting in the military would be his best fit. He wants to be tall and strong; he wants to be successful and able to provide for a family someday.
“When you’re not raised in a typical household, the military becomes attractive because you are surrounded by other men who care about you,” Sears-Gooding says. “We scream and yell commands together… some people can’t get that feeling anywhere else.”
Sears-Gooding trains six days each week, which sometimes entails flipping over a 500-pound tire. He also lifts at school during wrestling practice, an activity he has been involved with for one year. Now, in addition to his physique, Sears-Gooding’s work ethic is a lot stronger. His ACT® score took a three-point jump the second time he took the test.
“I never really wanted to go to college; it’s hard work,” Sears-Gooding says, adding, “but I know it’s important for being successful.”
“The Stark PASS program shows students like me that college courses are not what learning is like in high school,” Sears-Gooding says. “We were introduced to the differences between high school and college quicker than other students.”
For now, Sears-Gooding looks forward to June 12 – only about a week after high school graduation – when he will leave Akron to travel to his assigned base for the next four years. Aside from communicating with recruiters and waiting for their responses, Sears-Gooding started writing a book titled, “What’s Cast Aside,” a project he plans to complete upon returning home.