Turning Obstacles into Opportunities

Written by Maya Alas of Washington, D.C.

My name is Maya Alas and I am a fourth year cadet and senior in John F. Kennedy High School’s NJROTC Company. I am the executive officer of the 2014-2015 school year and have attained the rank of Lieutenant. Deciding to join JROTC in my ninth grade year was, initially, a decision made purely due to a slight interest in the challenge. I quickly discovered, upon deciding to join, that I had changed the course of my life forever.

Being a part of JROTC, no longer are the cadets solely concerned about themselves and their improvement thereafter, but about the cadets standing alongside them as well. Together cadets gain values, beliefs and skills that, unlike subject matter in other classes, will follow them beyond graduation.

When observing a crowd of students and how they interact and approach varying circumstances, it is easy to identify a JROTC cadet. Such is due to the fact that JROTC cadets are far from ordinary and exude pride in being a part of an organization that turns obstacles into opportunities and “I can’t” into “I will.”

Participating in a run with JROTC cadets across the world was amazing. The fact that individuals from various backgrounds came together for a cause that is deeply cared for is not something everybody can say they have been a part of. Such unity, pride and comradery are exactly what JROTC is all about. Celebrating the program’s 99th Anniversary with a 5K run event held worldwide was not only self-satisfying, but it is was chance to tell, not only the nation, but the world that JROTC is an outstanding organization that is continuously making our mark on the world.