Most people spent high school partying, or hanging out at friends’ houses, but not Lance Cpl. Cierra Prescod, a native of Decatur, Georgia.
The admin clerk for the adjutant at Marine Corps Air Station New River, dedicated her teenage years to helping her family at the expense of a social life, using her mentality of “It’s all about your drive. If you want it, get it.”
“I was in high school and I worked two jobs to pay off my grandmother’s citizenship.”
The fees associated with citizenship are quite expensive, with lawyer fees about $18,000 and document fees around $3,000.
“On the weekdays, I got out of school at about 3:30 p.m. and went to my first job until about 11 p.m.,” said Prescod. “On the weekends, I did my second job from 7:30 to 10:30 p.m.”
In addition to work, school and homework, Prescod took care of things around the house.
“My mom worked. I mean, I saw her from time to time when she was off. And my little sisters, I really didn’t see them often,” said Prescod. “When I got a chance, I would take them out but I really didn’t see them like that. My grandma was like a stay in care nurse, so she went to the people’s homes and would take care of them and stay for like a week. My brother was off to college by then. When my brother went off to college, I was the oldest one in the house so it was like, you know, stuff’s got to get done.”
Prescod only slept four or five hours a night during the week, and had no time for herself.
“I didn’t have a social life,” said Prescod. “I didn’t go to parties. I wasn’t with the crowd and stuff. I was just asleep that’s it. It was stressful but, some weeks were better than others. Some days and some weeks I would be spiraling, like it’s too much too many times, but other weeks it was just routine. I got it.”
Prescod enlisted in the Marine Corps two months after graduating high school.
“I had wanted to be a Marine since I was eight,” said Prescod. “It was the uniforms, the blues, and I really liked ‘the few the proud’ thing.”
“When I first got there, in the poolee program, I couldn’t get crunches to save my life, no matter how hard I tried,” said Prescod. “So, they sent me off to boot camp, and when we did the initial strength test, I missed the crunches by one, one crunch. I got dropped to the Female Readiness platoon for about two weeks. For those whole two weeks, I was just training to get that last crunch.”
Prescod’s dedication to better herself continues to this day.
“When she got here, we started a physical fitness test program and she increased exponentially. She started at around 75 crunches and now she’s at 120 over the course of three weeks. It was day in and day out work. During the week days, we went and worked out and during the weekends, she worked on her own, and it payed off,” said Cpl. Vyacheslav Rakhminlv, the adjutant’s assistant at New River.
While working at MCAS New River, Prescod has dedicated her time to working out. After work, Prescod is either at the gym or watching Netflix on her phone. Now that she is only working one job, she can enjoy some of the luxuries that she missed while in high school, like sleeping.
“I go to bed at 9:30, every night, thankfully, 9:30 or 9:45,” said Prescod.
Prescod plans to stay in the Marine Corps for at least two enlistments.
“I plan on getting meritorious corporal and sergeant in my first enlistment.”
Her leadership sees her meeting those goals.
“I feel she’s on the right track to where she needs to go,” said Rakhminlv. “She has been learning fairly quickly for this section. I feel I can rely on her.”
Beyond her tour with the Marine Corps, Prescod wants to put her hard work into a field in which she has plenty of experience.
“I want to get my master’s in business and hospitality, so I can open my own restaurant in 15 years,” said Prescod.