SAN ANTONIO –
The JROTC (Junior Reserve Officer's Training Corps ) program at Cole High School is shining proud— earning the title as April’s Go Public Cool School winning program with the most votes in April.
“We try to push them until they become a little uncomfortable and then when they realize they can overcome their fears, amazingly enough, anything is possible,” said William LaChance, Senior Army Instructor for the JROTC program at Cole High School.
The program is not a military recruitment push, it’s more of a leadership group and for some students, it’s changing their lives from negative to positive.
“I used to be really shy and I thought there wasn't anything special about me. After joining this program, I realized that I am actually unique and I do have things to offer,” said Samantha DeJesus a senior at Cole High School.
The rankings system is used at Cole High School as a way to emphasize leadership accomplishments.
Brenna Brown, Battalion Commander and a senior at Cole High School, is one leader who is taking advantage of the scholarship opportunities within the program.
Brown credits the student cadets with helping one another come out of their shells.
“I think that self-esteem is something that everyone struggles with,” said Brown. “It’s great being able to see someone start the program being very quiet and they’re able to grow self-confidence and emotional resilience.”
The cadets are proud of their accomplishments, but specifically, they are “honored” to be a part of the Homeless Veteran Burial Program, where they serve as pallbearers for veterans who have no family.
“It’s mind-boggling to be a part of something like that,” said DeJesus.
LaChance said the overall goal is to make these cadets “better citizens” by having them go through this military structured program.
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