SPRING BRANCH, Texas, Feb. 07, 2014 (NNS) – Planning and making informed decisions about their future were the ethos of seven Navy Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps students of Smithson Valley High School whom received more than $1.2 million in NROTC Scholarships, Jan. 14 and 28.
Awarded scholarships of $180,000 were Zach Hutchins, Johnny Potts, Walker Hobson, Sawyer Marshall, Molly Beaufait, Spencer Miller and Joshua Cervantes.
The high school seniors were presented their ceremonial checks by Navy Counselor 1st Class Gina Valdez, Navy Recruiting District San Antonio NROTC Scholarship coordinator, along with Navy Recruiters Aviation Mechanic 2nd Class Daniel Morales of Navy Recruiting Station Southeast and Machinist Mate 2nd Class Kyule Yoder of NRS New Braunfels.
According to Retired CDR Vincent Quidachay, senior naval science instructor of Smithson Valley High School, the mission of NJROTC is to teach citizenship.
“At our school, we try to take it up a notch, and teach leaders of citizens. The curriculum and the dedication to make it through this program helps to prepare students for life in the military, in college or in any organization,” said Quidachay, who is serving his fifth year as the senior instructor. “These kids want to succeed, they thrive on competition.”
Quidachay said that the NJROTC program at the school sets a path for students to attend college and prepares them to apply and receive scholarships.
“We strongly encourage our students to take the SAT and ACT early in their junior year, and to continue taking it until they are satisfied with their scores,” said Quidachay. “Our students start their NROTC applications on 1 April of their junior year, which is when the applications on the website are available. All of our top students take AP Calculus, AP Physics and AP English. It is not a coincidence that almost all of our top cadets in our battalion are the ones earning the scholarships. We not only get buy-in from the students, we also get buy-in from their parents.”
Hutchins, Potts and Hobson plan on attending Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Florida, Marshall will attend Texas A&M University at College Station, Beaufait and Cervantes plans on attending the University of Colorado at Boulder, and Miller will attend Prairie View A&M University.
The NROTC Program is a multi-year program that runs concurrently with a student’s normal college or university educational course of study. In addition to a normal academic workload leading to a Baccalaureate degree, NROTC students attend classes in Naval Science, participate in the NROTC unit for drill and taught the leadership principles and high ideals of a military officer.