J.P.S. ROTC students graduate with scholarships - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

J.P.S. ROTC students graduate with scholarships

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JACKSON, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

Victoria Griffin, Jeremy Coleman, Miriah Martin, and Alex Coleman are four JROTC cadets at Jim Hill High School in Jackson. They may not be what you would consider your typical seniors.

The green military uniforms and awards set them apart.

"I think the program has actually taught me the value of knowing exactly what my education is worth and not just being a regular student," says Griffin.

"Before getting into JROTC I didn't know anyone and I was kind of shy and timid, but as soon as I got in I became more outstanding in my academics as well as my socials," explains Coleman.

The group faces the same challenges all high schoolers do. However, they say JROTC gave them another outlet to handle peer pressure and bullying, along with completing their school work.

"The uniform attracts attention anyway. So, you're gonna want to do right at all times," says Martin.

"JROTC has taught me integrity, which is making the right decision and hanging around the right people and time management," says Crawford.

"Basically, put yourself in situations where you don't have to be influenced by others to do the wrong thing. You always have your mindset of what you need to do, to get where you need to be," explains Griffin.

Instructors say they try to build on positive experiences for the teens and reinforce what they learn in other classes.

JROTC is about service to the community, academics, and leadership in high school and beyond.

It's that structure instructors believe will help the teens grow.

"They do the planning. They do the coordination, and the instructors assist. And when the students go through four years of that process, when they leave our schools, they're ready to go anywhere in America and be successful," says JPS Director of Army JROTC Col. Paul Willis.

The program has been in J.P.S. for more than seven decades and its success is in the numbers.

This year, of the 2,200 J.P.S. students in JROTC 95 percent have been accepted to a college and earned more than $3 million in scholarships.

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