Determined to achieve her dreams and aspirations as a travel nurse, Ashari Chapman, 19, of Alexander City, did not let the recent pandemic set her plans back. While her senior year was not a traditional one, she made the best of it.

“We got out for spring break thinking that we would be going back to school at the end of the week; but then, my classmates and I received an email stating that school was postponed. That’s when it hit us – we are basically grown,” she said. “We knew it was coming. We just didn’t realize it was going to happen so fast. I knew I would miss school.” 

Before Ashari knew it, graduation was being planned, and while it was not a traditional graduation, she was excited to walk across the field to receive her diploma and celebrate with her friends and family.

“We were just happy to be back together,” she said. “We laughed. We cried. We hugged. It was just great to see everyone.” 

Now, fast forward several months, and Ashari is getting settled quite nicely as a student at The University of South Alabama. While she is currently focusing on her core classes, her eye is consistently on the prize: nursing school. Ashari dreams of becoming a traveling nurse, so she can help people.

“I know there are a lot of people out there who do not have what they need, and as a travel nurse, I can help those people,” she said.

Ashari enjoys the warmth and welcome she receives when helping others and was fortunate to receive a Certified Nursing Assistant certification before she finished her senior year of high school. 

 “I belonged to a lot of clubs in high school, and it was during an internship with Health Occupation that I realized nursing is what I wanted to do. We would regularly visit nursing homes and hospitals and watch nurses work with patients. That is when I knew that I wanted to be a nurse. They would work with the patients and talk them through the procedures, and they were so helpful. It really inspired me to want to be helpful as well.” 

Ashari is deeply motivated and inspired by her parents, Steven and Donna Chapman, as well. They have supported her through all of her endeavors.

“The most important thing to me is how my family pushed me forward. They offered such incredible motivation. They really inspired me to keep going and push forward in pursuing my dreams,” Chapman said.

She also is grateful to her parents and her dog, Sparkles, for the love and support they have offered her through the years. 

Ashari is on the right track to pursuing her dreams and achieving her goals, but the one thing she misses the most about her time in Alexander City is her church. She attended Pleasant Home Baptist Church in Goodwater. During her time at Pleasant Home, she became a lead singer in the church choir and performed as a lead on the dance team. Ashari loves to dance and sing. Her fondest memory of performing at Pleasant Home was when she was leading a dance and tons of thoughts about her success began to flood her mind.

“I was dancing and thinking, and I became very emotional because I am doing it. I am achieving my dream,” she said.