Laredo Independent School District recognized six JROTC students for their leadership skills during the JROTC Honorable Cadet Ceremony at Nixon High School.

Jose Gonzalez and Robert Ibarra, Martin High School; Cig Valeria Hernandez and Jacqueline Tapia, Cigarroa High School; and Amaris Izaguirre and Briana Morales Nixon High School were named LISD’s Honorable Cadets for demonstrating outstanding capabilities as active members of their community through service, self-discipline, responsibility, and respect. The recognition was conducted by LISD’s JROTC Program and the LISD College, Career and Military Readiness Department.

Gonzalez has gained confidence and a strong support system as a member of the JROTC Program at MHS. He especially thanks his JROTC instructors Sergeant Major Juan Hernandez and Staff Sergeant Dinora Villarreal for their guidance and help in all his endeavors. Jose’s most memorable experience is participating in the color guard with friends during the Tiger homecoming game. He is also a member of the National Honor Society. Jose enlisted with the Marine Corps and will attend boot camp in San Diego, California. He plans to attend college during active duty and eventually earn a degree in Business. 

Through JROTC, Ibarra has developed his critical thinking skills that will prepare him for his future. JROTC has also helped him create lifelong memories with friends and taught him how to lead, handle situations under pressure, and has made him a better person. His most memorable moment is when his MHS Raiders team earned 1st place at the Nixon competition. Robert is a proud member of the Martin Track team. Ibarra wants to pursue an associate degree in criminal justice, join the Army, and eventually get a job with U.S. Customs.

Hernandez credits the Toros JROTC program for molding her into a better citizen.  JROTC has provided Valeria with the physical endurance and mental fortitude required to be successful in life. Valeria’s most memorable experiences in JROTC include attending the parades with the Battalion and the Six Flags trip. Valeria is a member of the Toro Cheer team which earned a national championship two years in a row, and the Diamond Dolls. She plans on earning a degree in Criminal Justice and working with a law enforcement agency after graduation. 

Tapia’s participation in JROTC has allowed her to experience the lifestyle and appreciate the history of the military. The program has taught Jacqueline about leadership, discipline, communication, and a better understanding of teamwork. Her most unforgettable experience in JROTC is participating in the Cadet Leadership Challenge. Jaqueline is also a student at the Sabas Perez Early College High School at CHS. She plans to enlist in the Navy after graduation and pursue a career in law enforcement.

As a member of the NHS Program, Izaguirre has experienced tremendous personal growth. She has developed leadership skills, structure, and patience. Amaris also participates in Communities in Schools and is enrolled at the Vidal M. Trevino School of Communications and Fine Arts, where is a member of the all-female Conjunto Group. After graduation she plans to attend Laredo College and TAMIU, and major in Criminal Justice. 

Amaris most memorable experience is when she fainted at a Raider practice on her ROTC instructor’s birthday.

“When I opened my eyes in the emergency room, Lieutenant Colonel Benny Feagin was sitting with me on his birthday,” said Izaguirre. “I knew from that moment that JROTC was my home; Lieutenant Colonel helped me feel safe and loved.”

Morales joined JROTC to learn more about leadership and dedication. Through her participation in JROTC, she learned how to manage her emotions and communicate better. Briana’s most memorable experience was when she won her first National Award during the annual cadet awards ceremony. The award validated her hard work and dedication. During her three years in JROTC, she has earned the Raider XO position and is a leader in the Color Guard. Briana owns her own crochet business. She plans to attend TAMIU to earn a Criminal Justice degree. Her goal is to someday work with U.S. Customs.

“It’s been such a pleasure and great experience being in the JROTC Program. It’s taught me about leadership, teamwork, and time-management,” said Morales. “JROTC has changed my life. I socialize more and now I’m more organized.”

The Nixon High School JROTC presented the colors. Guests enjoyed a delicious barbecue lunch which was prepared by the Nixon High School Culinary Arts students, under the direction of Grizelda Sauceda Madrigal and Michelle Crawford. The brisket was prepared by the NHS Meat Processing and FFA teachers Aucenio Lopez and  Reynaldo Garza.

To be considered an Honorable Cadet, the student must submit a completed application with their information, resume, two letters of recommendation (non-JROTC Instructor) one recommendation letter from JROTC Instructor, essay, and cadet challenge score.

Cadets can get applications from the JROTC Instructors and counselors and must submit completed applications to their counselors.

For more information, please contact LISD College, Career and Military Readiness Coordinators, Mayra Garcia at 956-273-1863.