ANNAPOLIS, Md. (WJZ) — A special day was made even more beautiful for Ashanti Curry after she was given a balloon and hug by a little girl.
Curry, a U.S. Naval Academy graduate, wrote on Facebook that she was out for a meal with her family following the commencement ceremony when a little girl, Bristol, and her mom, Debi Hopkins, approached her in an Annapolis restaurant.
“Did you graduate today?” Hopkins asked Curry. “Well my daughter just graduated from pre-school today as well and we wanted her to come over and meet you! I always tell her how strong we as women are and how she has limitless possibilities and you are the example of that. We love strong women and everything we can achieve and I want my daughter to be as strong as you when she grows up.”
The preschooler then proceeded to give Curry the balloon her parents had given her earlier that day.
Curry said the moment made her graduation day even better.
“It feels good to be looked up to. I know I looked up to so many different strong women,” she said. “Next thing you know you’re an inspiration for someone else.”
Curry posted about the interaction on Facebook Wednesday, hoping to reunite with Bristol and give her something.
She said it only took nine hours for her to track them down and now she’s putting together a gift basket for Bristol.
“She is my legacy,” Curry wrote in the Facebook post. “This girl here is my purpose. Everyday I will wake up and be the best leader I can for my Marines, always.”
Curry said she’ll be giving Bristol a midshipman cover, some Navy gear and school supplies for the soon-to-be kindergartner.
“But I vow to constantly remember that little girls like her are watching me and looking at me for motivation. I can never quit, because she’s watching,” she continued. “She will one day be stronger than me leading the the WORLD to greater things. If I can have anything to do with that, I will, by striving to be the best version of myself for the Marines I will lead.”
Curry has a short break before she’s headed to Quantico for training. She will then serve at least five years with the Marines.