Students at local high schools and colleges will have a portion of their tuition paid for using Army-affiliated scholarships.
At South View High School in Hope Mills, Cadet Major Trinity Ashworth and Cadet PFC. Bakari Walker, both Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps seniors, recently learned that they were among the nation’s top cadets to earn a four-year ROTC scholarship.
Their instructor, retired Command Sgt. Major Ruby Murray, said that of more than 9,000 applicants, Ashworth’s and Walker were among 10% of selected students nationally.
“They both make me proud,” Murray said. “The scholarship is more than their grades. It’s about service-learning, selfless service, hard work, dedication, integrity, being something bigger than yourself, and teamwork.
Ashworth is South View High School’s junior ROTC battalion commander and helps lead 120 cadets through the program.
She has been in JROTC since her freshman year and said she joined JROTC because her mother was in JROTC, and she thought it would help prepare her to join the military.
“I was drawn in, loved it, got involved in the community, and really started caring about the cadets I lead,” Ashworth said.
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During her time with the program, she participated in the annual Sandhills Purple Heart Dinner, featuring a saber presentation to honor injured Purple Heart veterans, and helped feed the homeless in surrounding communities during Thanksgiving.
Ashworth said the JROTC program is an elective course that teaches military science, drill movements and uniform maintenance, but she also learned time management and leadership skills through the program.
In high school, she balanced the program with her other classes, drill and athletics team, work, and community service.
“What I took away from the program was having a voice for myself,” Ashworth said. “When I first joined the program, I was very closed in. I didn’t like to say too much. I didn’t like speaking in front of people. Public speaking is also something we we focus very heavily in the program.”
Murray said Ashworth was one of the students she could count on when peer-to-peer contact began last year to allow cadets to tutor other struggling cadets in other classes in the secondary.
Walker joined the JROTC program this school year because both of his parents were in the military and he considers them role models.
Like Ashworth, he said the program helped develop leadership skills.
“We’re learning to bond with our cadets, better prepare for the outside world, and most importantly, take care of ourselves and our community,” Walker said.
He said he was taking leadership, public speaking and time management skills out of the program.
While at JROTC, Walker said he balanced courses in the International Baccalaureate program, community service, as captain of the track and cross country team, as co-captain of the football, soccer and wrestling teams and part-time work.
Murray said that during Walker’s time in the program, he was also part of South View High School’s Tiger Stripes program, which helps mentor students with special needs.
“I help wherever I can,” Walker said.
Walker and Ashworth will attend NC A&T State University, where Ashworth plans to major in psychology and go into Army psychology once she is commissioned. Walker plans to major in engineering and computer science and move into tech support once he enters the military.
MOAA Recognizes ROTC Cadets
This month, the Cape Fear Chapter of Military Officers of America also distributed scholarships to ROTC students.
The recipient of the $3,500 Meinhardt ROTC Scholarship is Army Cadet Marquize Woodson, a freshman at the University of North Carolina at Pembroke.
Woodson said he joined ROTC because his parents were in the military and he planned to work in the communications or munitions fields once commissioned.
The recipient of the $3,000 Charles Pimble ROTC Scholarship is Army ROTC Cadet Jasmine Thompson-Yanes, who is also a Fort Bragg military spouse and will be attending her final semester at Fayetteville State University in autumn.
Thompson-Yanes said her stepfather, who served in the military, inspired her to join.
“He was the first person I ever saw who had a house and a car and was located and all his ducks in line,” she said.
Thompson-Yanes joined the North Carolina National Guard in 2018 and focused on military intelligence. She joined ROTC in 2019.
After a deployment to Kuwait last year, she became interested in geospatial science, which she now specializes in, she said.
Other recipients of the $3,000 Cape Fear MOAA ROTC Scholarship were Army Cadet Andrei Fennimore, a student at Campbell University, and Air Force Cadet David B. Hudson, a student at Methodist University.
The Corvias Foundation rewards a military child from Fort Bragg
The Corvias Foundation, founded by the chairman of military housing provider, Corvias, also announced that Katrina Churchill, the daughter of an active duty serviceman at Fort Bragg, was awarded one of the foundation’s four-year college scholarships. a maximum value of $40,000.
“Our help doesn’t stop with financial support,” said President John PIcerne. “We encourage our fellows to engage with the Corvias Foundation community, where we cultivate personal and professional growth through a network of support and advocacy.”
The scholarship program provides financial support for military children during the four years of college education and offers the opportunity to attend conferences, participate in internships and receive mentorship, according to a press release.
Churchill is a senior at Pinecrest High School in Southern Pines and plans to attend Saint Louis University in Missouri to study international business with an emphasis on economics and finance, according to the statement.
She’s been active in the Girl Scouts, worked for a local business since she was 15, played cello in the Pinecrest High School Sinfonietta Orchestra and the Moore Philharmonic Orchestra, is a drum major with the Pinecrests Marching Patriots and served as a choreographer, soloist and captain. last winter with Moore County Combined Percussion.
Writer Rachael Riley can be reached at email@example.com or 910-486-3528.