Jahryca McClean was born in 2000 in Boston, Massachusetts. Her father is an engineer and her mother is a nurse’s assistant. In high school, she participated in track, cross country, and soccer, and was also interested in poetry and writing, especially Toni Morrison’s. JROTC transformed her, especially the leadership aspect. She attended the United States Military Academy Preparatory School, and, as a 17-year-old, she found Prep School R-Day scary, but overall her year there was a good experience. At West Point, she felt that Beast was a mental struggle, and that she encountered discrimination from people who belittled or picked on her. She decided to major in Philosophy and / Pre-Med, and participated in the Honorable Living Panel last year. She joined the boxing team, appreciating how members of the team challenge each other every day. She feels that the Corps of Cadets has a positive culture and Cadets are generally outgoing. At the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, she was on Spring Break in Nashville with a group of Cadets and faculty from the Department of Behavioral Sciences and Leadership, helping the homeless. From Nashville, she returned home to quarantine. She maintained her physical fitness by running on the track and going to the YMCA. While at home, she maintained contact with West Point through her TAC reaching out to make sure everyone remained informed. Back at West Point, but still under COVID restrictions, she misses being able to visit friends in their rooms. She is hoping to branch Medical Service Corps.
In this interview, she talks about her childhood, attending the prep school, and her West Point experiences. She recalls the COVID quarantine semester and how she dealt with being away from West Point. She reflects on Kade Kurita, a Cadet who committed suicide the year prior, and how his death affected her and those in Company H-1. Finally, she provides advice to future Cadets (be confident) and reflects on what West Point means to her.