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Q&A: Destiny Dawson on juggling responsibilities of being a legal guardian and a student-athlete, support of OSU's track & field program

Editor's note: It hasn't always been an easy road for Oregon State redshirt senior Destiny Dawson, an All-American javelin thrower and engineering major. She inspires by juggling those responsibilities with caring for her three younger siblings as their legal guardian alongside her longtime boyfriend, Darren Voigt. Below, she shares more of her story in an edited Q&A. See more of Dawson's story during the debut of "Our Stories" on May 5 at 5:15 p.m. PT/ 6:15 p.m. MT on Pac-12 Network.

Pac-12 Networks: Other than being your name, what does the word destiny mean to you?

Destiny Dawson: Something along the lines of the definition. It's just like, 'Whatever your life is supposed to be is what it will be.' Those events will come. And you don't really have a say in it. 

P12N: How does that relate to your story?

DD: This is the hand I was dealt, and I'm going to play the cards the way I think they should be played. And then the outcomes will come whenever they do.

P12N: Did you ever feel like there was a moment of 'I can't do this'?

DD: Yeah, a lot actually. But I keep it to myself. Nobody else knows that. I generally am like, 'Everything's fine. Everything's great.' But when it's tough, I have to turn the switch real quick, especially because I know the kids need me. Even in the times when it's so stressful and something happens and makes me think, 'Oh my gosh. This is crazy.' I tell myself this one thing isn't going to ruin everything. It's usually when I get super stressed out about the kids and school and track — all at once.

Destiny and her family
Pac-12 Networks

P12: How do your teammates and the coaching staff help support you athletically?

DD: I got to Corvallis, met Coach (David) Dumble, and I thought he was a great guy, but it wasn't in perspective until he started coaching me. I really realized he's like the best coach ever. I have gotten so much stronger, so much better technically. As a team, we've gotten a lot better and a lot closer. It's amazing the way he can relate to everyone, and we're obviously all different. He can say the right words to each individual person to get them to think or do the right things. 

P12N: You're very mature for a 21-year-old. Do people say that to you often?

DD: I haven't heard it a lot recently, but back in the day, I heard 'You're so mature for 16 or 18.' Even someone my age said that. People have always assumed I was older than I am. They say I'm really mature. I kind of understand where people are coming from, but I am what I am and who I am.

P12N: Everything to this point, do you think it's been meant to be?

DD: I have that outlook of like, 'Whatever was meant to be is going to happen. And I don't really have a choice.' I get to make little choices throughout, but in the long run, there's been a million and a half things that have happened that I didn't get to make the decision upon. Here we are now.

I guess it was meant to be. I also say, 'It's all good. Everything's good.' My point of view is that, if this is what's meant to be, it's going to be all good. It's all going to get done. And in the long run, everything's going to be fine. 

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