The theme for SY 16-17's essay contest is "Service to Others". Cadets' essay needs to address the following areas:
1. Describe your role in providing a service to others.
2. Which JROTC lesson(s) helped prepare you for service to others and how?
3. What did you learn from your participation in service to others?
ST. THOMAS, Ivanna Eudora Kean High School‘s Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps (JROTC) Cadet Breanna Elie, a 9th grader, received an Honorable Mention in the Army JROTC’s annual JROTC Essay Contest.
Elie placed in the top seven for the 6th Brigade that is comprised of JROTC programs in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands, making her the top winner in the Caribbean region.
Colonel Alfred Francis spoke highly of Elie’s accomplishments when speaking to students at Kean’s JROTC outdoor meeting area on May 4th. “Cadet Elie came out to be the first place winner for the Caribbean region,” he said. “She truly deserves this recognition.”
In a move that sought to inspire more students to consider their untapped potential, he shared words from Education Commissioner Sharon McCollum. “When one of you succeed, we all succeed. Today, here at JROTC, is a proud moment for us all because we have received that recognition at the national level. You all have the ability to compete and win nationally,” McCollum said.
The 6th Brigade has over 250 JROTC programs and more than 1,700 programs within the Cadet Command of the U.S. Army. The Cadet Command is comprised of eight Brigades that cover the United States and its outlying territories.
Seven essays were selected from the 6th Brigade, of that, the top four were forwarded to Ft. Knox, Ky., to be judged to decide who would represent the U.S. Army Cadet Command winner.
Elie’s instructor, First Sergeant (1SG) Raymond Frett, had the honor of presenting her Certificate of Achievement and Brigade coin in the presence of her mother. “This is truly an honor,” 1SG Frett stated. “This honor comes to me from the actions of my students, when you display your skills, your ability to follow, to write and to improve on your communication skills. When you succeed, I feel good, I feel happy.”
“Service to Others” was 2017’s essay theme and Cadet Elie’s two-and-a-half page essay expressed her belief that service to others often has a positive impact on the community, including the person serving it. Cadet Elie was motivated to write for the contest after 1SG Frett encouraged students to participate and further their writing skills.
She also found the topic easy to write about because service is important to JROTC and the Interact Club, which she is also a member. “Careerwise, I want to be a pharmacist but I’m also interested in the business field,” she said. “Moving forward I think I will consider different opportunities but I will continue to write.
She revealed that 1SG Frett helped guide them so that they could create the best essay. Cadet Elie also revealed that she is a member of the Ivanna Eudora Kean High School’s marching band and Jazz Band. Her arsenal of instruments include the clarinet, saxophone, and the guitar.
1SG Frett also detailed the struggles high school students face when writing. “What I see they need work in is just applying the writing process and focusing on their sentence structure and vocabulary,” Frett explained. “I require students to write a journal everyday and encourage them to write more often; when you practice, you get good.”
1SG Frett also recognized 11th grader Cadet Kiara Wattley, who placed in the top ten within the Brigade last year. Cadet Wattley, who aspires to be an author and book editor, says she will also enter the contest again next year.
The 6th Brigade took home First Place at Cadet Command with the national winner announced as Tiffany Bryant from Lanier High School in Jackson, Miss.
I suppose I write for a better Virgin Islands — For us to be nationally recognized for the great ideas and the amazing minds we have within our shores. "I still believe that if your aim is to change the world, journalism is a more immediate short-term weapon." — Tom Stoppard