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JPS JROTC Cadets Celebrate End of Semester with Premier Formal Event

posted Jan 27, 2016, 12:32 PM by Lanier JROTC
Erik Mallett
Errika Mallett, guest speaker for the 4th Annual JROTC Military Gala

Jackson Public Schools JROTC hosted the 4th Annual Consolidated Military Gala on Friday evening, December 18, 2015. A gathering of nearly 1,000 cadets, instructors, parents, school administrators and other guests dressed in formal attire convened at the Jackson Convention Complex, to socialize and celebrate the holiday season and the completion of a successful first semester.

"We were honored and grateful to have the president and several members of our JPS Board of Trustees, our Superintendent, Dr. Cedrick Gray, Mayor Tony Yarber, Police Chief Lee Vance, representatives from Jackson State University, William Carey University, Millsaps College, business and church leaders, and a host of supporters and well-wishers come out and support one of our premier events," said Col. (Ret.) Paul Willis, Director of JPS JROTC. "However, we were most proud of the exceptionally professional manner in which our cadets facilitated the program, as well as the respectful and dignified behavior demonstrated by all throughout the entire program."

Guest speaker Errika Mallett delivered an inspirational and empowering message, highlighting the lucrative benefits as well as the need for more diversity in science, technology, engineering and mathematics careers. Mallett is an industrial engineer from Georgia Institute of Technology with consulting, marketing and executive management experience in the technology industry. She is currently the Vice President of Operations and Partnerships for the Gifted Education Foundation.

JROTC Military Gala Group
JPS Supt. Dr. Cedrick Gray (center) joined Board members, school administrators, and more than 900 guests for the JROTC Military Gala held in December 2015.

The mission of JROTC is to Motivate Young People to be Better Citizens. 

The JROTC program is a stimulus for promoting graduation from high school. The average annual graduation rate for JPS JROTC cadets is 98 percent. Cadets are also expected to continue their education after completing high school and the JROTC program includes components that assist with preparing cadets for higher education. 

The percentage of JPS JROTC graduates who are formally accepted to post-secondary institutions of higher learning has steadily increased each year, reaching 99.1 percent.  Additionally, the graduating cadets earned an average of $3 million in scholarship offers annually.

"The planning and execution of the military gala was nothing less than outstanding," said Col. Willis. "It is a great testament to what our young people are capable of—the level of cooperation, fellowship and esprit de corps—when placed in a positive environment and allowed to be creative."

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