Jackson Maina, popularly known as Prince Jack, is a Kenyan youth serving in the United States military under the Navy department.
Before his relocation to the US, he worked as a watchman in Samburu County after failing to secure a job as a National Youth Service (NYS) officer.
Here is his story as told by WoK.
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Maina was born and raised in Nyandarua County where he also attended his primary and secondary school education.
He studied at Gatha Primary School before progressing to Gatha Secondary School, although he was forced to repeat class 8 due to lack of fees to progress to secondary school.
After completion of his secondary school education, he joined NYS and underwent training and graduated in 2019.
Working as a watchman
Maina graduated from NYS shortly before the COVID-19 pandemic, leaving him clueless about what to do.
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He then decided to leave home for Maralal town in Samburu County where he was lucky to find a slot in the Kazi Mtaani program.
The monthly income from the program was not enough for his needs, forcing him to look for jobs at construction sites.
The Kazi Mtaani program was later concluded leaving Maina with no income and no option than working as a watchman.
“I left home and went to Samburu where I got a job under Kazi Mtaani program. The pay wasn’t enough and I was forced to work at a construction site when I wasn’t working at Kazi Mtaani
“The program ended and I resorted to work as a security guard until I came to America,” Main recalled.
Winning a Green Card
Maina first came across the DV Lottery in 2018 while still a student at the NYS but he did not focus too much on it.
“In 2018 while at NYS, I sought permission to go home to see my parents. While at home I came across a Kenyan YouTuber telling Kenyans to try their luck by applying for a green card. I just assumed it,” he said.
In 2019, just before graduating from NYS, Maina did more research about the lottery and applied for it hit he did not win.
Maina tried his luck again a year later and he won.
“In 2019 is when I did research about the green card, I applied for a passport and applied for the greencard but it failed again
“I tried again in 2021 and fortunately I won the green card and that’s how I came to America,” he said.
Moving to the US
For Maina, relocating to the US was not a walk in the park especially because he came from a poor family and he had just los this father.
For six months, he was forced to save Ksh 3,000 daily from his Ksh 8,000 monthly salary and sold his house hold stuff.
After saving and selling almost all his possessions, Maina managed to save Ksh 50,000 out of the required Ksh 250,000.
He was lucky enough to access a Ksh 70,000 salary advance loan from Equity Bank which covered his medical expenses and visa interviews.
His flight to the US was catered for by his host.
Joining the US Navy
After arriving in the US, Maina engaged in other unskilled jobs before he got a chance to join the US Navy.
The military man said he was never interested in joining the military until he completed the NYS training.
“I wasn’t interested in the navy because I had in the military dying is easy but all in all death can find you regardless the profession. After my time in NYS, I got to love the military,” Maina said.
He applied to join the navy and after a successful recruitment process, he signed a contract and started the training program.
“In the US, you go to your recruiter with your Green Card, birth certificate and KCSE after which you will be given a practice test
“After the test, you undergo medicals before you sign a contract. You need to be a US citizen or a permanent resident to qualify. The navy is applicable for people between 17 and 28 years,” Maina explained.