Hayley Jackson

By Bella Dahlquist

One of Hayley Jackson’s earliest memories of her life was snorkeling along the ocean’s coastline in Japan.  

The sea water was salty and shallow, a light blue color.  Her mom was near her in the white, grainy sand, her dad off farther into the ocean on a small island scuba diving.  

The water was warm, and she remembers having “so much fun” swimming in the ocean with her family.

Living in Japan at such a young age can be foreign to some.  But traveling to other realms of the world is nothing new to Hayley.

“I grew up in a military family,” she said.  “So I got to travel to so many places.” North America or Asia, she has seen the world.

“I thought that it was normal to move around all the time,”  she said. “But once I got older it was hard trying to make friends at school because I was always the new girl.”

Enduring tough adolescent issues like that, one piece of advice that her mother gave to her a long time ago has always stuck with her.  

“My mom always told me to never hold a grudge too long because even if you are going through a tough time, you will get through it,”  Hayley said.

And her mother was right.

Freshman year of high school was tough for Hayley, socially, going between friend groups and trying to find her place.  But she remembered her mother’s advice and took it and ran.

“In my sophomore year of high school, I became more open to others, and I ended up making many new friends that I still have today,”  she smiled.

Seeing distinct parts of the world and all sorts of people from her father being stationed in many countries, it has shaped her view of the world.

“Seeing all different kinds of people and cultures,” she stated,  “has made me more empathetic to others around me.”

The Make-A-Wish Foundation is one of those things that Hayley is one of those things she cares deeply for.  

“They do great work,” she complimented.  “I just wish they had more funds give these kids their wishes.  It’s not fair to the children what they are going through. Where a girl might pass away in three months, why not give her the chance to go to Disney World?”

When asked where she would like to visit again, Hayley said that she would go back to Japan in a heartbeat.

“I just remember loving it,” she said with a smile.  “Maybe if I go back I would be able to remember all the things I did when I was there.”

Being a part of a respected and honorable military family is only just one part of Hayley.  

Fun family traditions like baking cookies and watching cheesy Christmas movies during the holidays, being a part of the volunteer organization Rotary Interact club, and quirkily putting different kinds of fruit on her Frosted Flakes, are other parts about her, too.

But her experiences because of traveling all over the globe makes her who she is today.

“It’s helped me learn how to adapt,” she said.  “And that has helped me get through life and all its ups and downs.”


Hayley Jackson, Staff Writer