#PeopleofCLE: Dawn, nursing assistant, finishing her bucket list

Northeast Ohio is changing. These are the people shaping its future.

Our fourth installment:

Dawn Walker spent 20 years in the U.S. Navy as a hospital corpsman, seeing the world. In 1999, she retired and became a nursing assistant in Hawaii. In 2017, she moved to Cleveland to be with her parents. The Cleveland Heights resident works as a nursing assistant for the Louis Stokes Cleveland VA Medical Center. She is studying clinical counseling and wants to help veterans adjust to civilian life. Life after high school for her, she says, was rebellious. “My parents sat me down and said you just can’t sit at home, you have to find a full-time, substantial job or consider joining the Navy. My older brother was already in the Navy. So I knew I didn’t want to go to school at that time, it just wasn’t in me to really go to school. So I decided to join the Navy, and I let the recruiter know then that I wanted to work in health care. I loved it, I loved the Navy. I loved my experiences, I loved the opportunities I had to travel. I think if I didn’t join the Navy, I probably never would have traveled and saw some of the things I did. Different countries I lived in instead of staying on the base. Often times, I lived off base purposely to learn that culture when it was possible. I thought about going back to school for awhile, but I allowed life to get in the way and do other things. But now that I’ve accomplished everything in regards to my job, and I’m facing retirement, I said I want to finish my bucket list, I want to get my master’s. The sky’s the limit. There is nothing you can’t do with a little drive and determination.” #peopleofcleveland #peopleofcle

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Read more articles by Nicky Grusenmeyer.

Nicky Grusenmeyer is a Cleveland native and junior at Cleveland State University. She is a reporter and ad manager for the CSU student newspaper, the Cleveland Stater. She has shadowed and worked closely with the Channel 5 news staff. She specializes in science writing, with an emphasis on environmental issues.