Photo of Stephanie Raper

Stephanie Raper
In the Loop Editor



How many times as a parent, have you wished for a local program designed to keep your child active and prepare him or her for life's challenges? Well, just such a program exists right here in the Grenada School District! The Navy National Defense Cadet Corp (NNDCC), under the direction of Chief Reese Foreman, has begun a new and exciting year at Grenada High School.

The group boasts 72 members and hopes to increase their numbers soon, as they plan to add 28 new members for the 2016 – 2017 school year. The NNDCC encourages parents, community members, and students to urge young, GHS students to join the positive life-changing environment of this organization.

Why solicit new members now? Increasing the size of the program would allow the group to gain Navy Junior Reserve Officer Training Corp (NJROTC) status. This status would allow the program to be funded by the United States Navy rather than the Grenada School District. Federal rather than local funding opens up a whole new avenue of possibilities for the members of this program. Based on the successes and results of the past few years, the NNDCC has proven that it has positively impacted its members by strengthening them mentally, training them physically, and providing them with important life-management skills.

Do members have to join the military after high school graduation? Of course not! Participation in the NNDCC/NJROTC program during high school does not automatically enroll you in the armed forces. However, many students find that the challenges and discipline they receive in the program fit them perfectly, and they do eventually choose a career in the military.

Even if students don't choose military life after high school, post-graduation benefits do exist. Funds for college tuition are available to students who volunteer for community service (many opportunities for this are available in the local program). Scholarships are also available to students who complete a four-year NNDCC/NJROTC program.

Cadets can participate in different areas of the NNDCC during their membership. Color Guard, Air Rifle teams, Drill teams, Academic teams, STEM teams, and Physical Training teams exist – there's something of interest for everyone. Each of these different areas offers competitions at the district, state, and national levels. During the 2015-2016 school year, the GHS NNDCC placed 4th out of 82 schools in the Physical Training category.

The NNDCC program promotes education, self-respect, self-discipline, pride and teamwork. Cadets broaden their horizons and grow as individuals and leaders during their NNDCC experiences. A community outreach program is in the works to provide more information about NNDCC and allow prospective members a chance to meet with participating cadets. If you know a young person that would benefit from this type of environment, encourage them to join NNDCC. Membership can be a life-changing experience!