Student Spotlight 2022: Ernest Johnson, U.S. Navy

Tell us about yourself.

I am from Lumberton, NC, and on active duty in the Navy. My military occupation rate is RS or Retail Service Specialist. I chose to join the Navy to escape my small town and to travel and see the world. I also wanted to use it as a platform to better my future and pay for college without placing that burden on my parents. Some fun facts about myself are that my mother and I share the same birthday, I am a certified scuba diver, and I once took a selfie with Oprah. 

What was your educational background prior to attending WSP, and which of our courses did you attend? 

I attended the humanities and business & entrepreneurship courses at Notre Dame. Before WSP, I attended some college classes, which were prerequisites for a Navy nursing program, but I decided to shift course. 

Why did you decide to participate in WSP this summer, and was there a shift in your confidence level from the first day of the course to the last day? 

I participated in WSP to gain insight into full-time college and to utilize it as a tool to help with my transition to school after the military. Before the course, I was confident I would be open to whatever was placed before me, and I was nervous about what that would look like. However, I gained confidence I didn’t know was possible upon completing the course. 

What were some key insights you gained during your courses, and what is your biggest takeaway? 

Some key insights I gained during the course were the importance of referencing the syllabus often and utilizing a professor’s open-door hours. Also, to get involved in both veteran and non-veteran student communities/activities. Overall, WSP taught me that there are a ton of resources to help with the pursuit of my degree and that people genuinely want to see me succeed. 

In one word, how would you describe your overall experience?

Stupendous!

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