Six Rosa Fort AFJROTC cadets took advantage of the opportunity to attend Air Force Junior ROTC Summer Leadership School hosted by the Northside Independent School District at the University of Texas in San Antonio campus and the John Newcombe Tennis Ranch in New Braunfels, Texas June 6-12.
Based on their leadership potential, the cadets represented Rosa Fort High School and the Tunica community very well, Lt. Colonel Wayne Hill said.
Cadets Sertoria Ellington, Joseph Dawson, Cortland Carpenter, Kiara Hampton, Nekeya Washington and Adrianna Crawford all received certificates recognizing their participation in the 168 hour summer leadership training school course.
The one-week leadership school provided intense, rigorous, highly supervised and scrutinized training to youth anywhere in the nation. Each day from 5 a.m. until 10 p.m., the cadets faced a wide variety of challenges ranging from physical fitness evaluations, room inspections and uniform inspections to drill, personal evaluations and cadet rules and codes of conduct. On the brighter side, the cadets had the opportunity to compete and work with over 450 cadets from various schools through Texas, Louisiana, Georgia and Oklahoma. Rosa Fort High School cadets were the only cadets from Mississippi who attended the school. While several cadets failed to complete the training due to physical stress, injuries and just plain quitting, no cadet from Rosa Fort has ever failed to complete the school!
While leaders are proud of all graduates, they also applaud Rosa Fort cadet Joseph Dawson, a rising senior and fourth-year cadet who was singled out as a distinguished graduate. Only the top 10 percent of the cadets receive this honor, and Dawson was at the very top of the top 10 percent. Cadet Dawson is the first cadet in the history of Rosa Fort AFJROTC to receive this honor.
“There were difficult challenges, but both my instructors prepared us for the challenge and were key roles in my success. Jumping from a 56 foot pole took a lot of courage,” Dawson said, referencing the high ropes confidence building course.
“It was hot and tough and I felt like giving in, but I thought of my family and friends who were depending on me so I kept pushing.” Cadet Sertoria Ellington said. “The work I put forth will show up for the rest of my life through my leadership skills that I gained.
Being conducted concurrently with the Summer Leadership School was an Honors Camp at Trinity University in San Antonio. Cadets selected for this are those who have previously completed a Summer Leadership School and are college material. These 45-50 cadets were offered outstnaind experiences in the fields of aviation, cyber defense and the medical profession revolving around the military career.
Cadet Robtavia Walls, an upcoming senior and also a fourth year cadet, was the person selcted to represent Rosa Fort at Honors Camp.
“It was a great learning experience, “ said Walls. “I learned some things I didn’t know. It’ll help me choose what I want to do after school. I highly recommend it to other students.”