Senior’s Sail Catches Wind: Navy Enlistee Looks Toward Future


Joshua Schmitt

Senior Kenzie Sides waves her Navy flag. Sides ships off to boot camp in July.

Opportunities for the future seem endless yet overwhelming for seniors. Options span wide. Whether it’s college, vocational school, military or entering the workforce, making a decision can seem impossible. With every option considered, senior Kenzie Sides has made her choice; she will serve the country through the U.S. Navy.

Senior Kenzie Sides looks to her graduation tassel.

Sides has already began preparing for boot camp. She has been attending monthly group workouts with fellow Navy recruits in the Amarillo area, and has implemented her own workout routine. In addition, she is preparing herself mentally for what is to come.

“I’m most nervous about shipping off to boot camp,” Sides said. “I would love to make the Navy a career, but I’m going to play it by ear.”

Although she is nervous about the unknown, Sides said she remains hopeful and excited for a long future in the military.

Senior Kenzie Sides wraps the comfort of her country around her.

“I will be getting the G.I Bill and the Hazelwood Act which helps pay for college, and I will get BAH (basic allowance for housing),” Sides said. “Also, I get to travel for free.”

Pullquote Photo

It’s like one big family, even right now before going to boot camp.

— Senior Kenzie Sides

In return, the military requires a minimum four year commitment. While the training can be difficult, Sides said the benefits and rewards for the honor of serving the country will outweigh all the sacrifices she will make.

“I’m excited about getting to travel and the friendships that come with the Navy,” Sides said. “It’s like one big family, even right now before going to boot camp. We have meetings where all the future sailors in the area workout and study together in preparation to leave, and I’ve already made some solid friendships. I’m excited to see where the Navy takes me and what it adds to my testimony. After I get out of the Navy, whether it’s in four years or 20 years, I want to talk about my experiences and be a religious speaker.”