DESIGN STORY: “REFLECTION”
U.S. Navy Veteran and Naval Academy graduate, Paula Neira, and designer K.C. Corbett collaborated to create the design “Reflection,” an illustrative expression of two life-changing moments in Paula’s life. At seven years-old, Paula discovered her dream to one day join the Navy as she looked out onto the harbor, watching ships and airplanes pass by. Years later as a Naval Officer, she found herself again looking out onto the water, this time making the difficult decision to walk away from her Naval career in order to remain true to herself.
Representing her personal path, her advocacy in helping to repeal the military’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy as a lawyer, and her work as a nurse and one of the country’s leading experts in transgender health as the Clinical Program Director of the Johns Hopkins’ Center for Transgender Health, the design features the colors from the Transgender Pride Flag, a flag symbolizing transgender pride, diversity, and rights.
In a hand-crafted script that references the War of 1812’s “Dont Give Up The Ship” flag displayed in USNA’s Memorial Hall, the design features the statement, “To dream is to dare, to dare is to do,” reflecting Paula’s aspirations and strong work ethic to not only dream, but to be willing to take the steps necessary to fulfill them. The imperfect reflection on the water represents the countless struggles Paula endured in daring to attain her dream while now working tirelessly to help others achieve their’s.