Save JROTC at Hollywood High School
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HOLLYWOOD HIGH SCHOOL'S JROTC IS CLOSING DOWN AFTER 100 YEARS!!!!! Reasons for closure of the program include lack of funding and not meeting college-entrance requirements. The deadline to come up with funding is June 30, 2017, and I know we can mobilize to save a program that has enhanced the lives of thousands of students.
JROTC provides our young men and women an environment that promotes leadership, discipline and organizational integrity. Yes, I acknowledge that the program is located primarily in inner city schools and serves at‐risk students. It is precisely why this program is necessary. It is the only space where students with disadvantaged backgrounds are given the opportunity to succeed in an educational system that is already set up to make them fail. We are highly attuned to the social disadvantages that exist in our communities, and it is the fierceness and caring nature of the JROTC instructors that have saved us and propelled us to become something more, to have pride in our work, and to serve our country with our talents whether it is joining the military, becoming a teacher, doctor, lawyer, etc. I am currently a doctoral candidate at the University of Southern California, and I would not be where I am at today if it weren't for JROTC. It was the only space in our campus where I felt I belonged, was encouraged to go "above and beyond," and was given the opportunity to better myself and help others become the best that they could be.
I am not convinced of the argument that JROTC should be removed because it does not meet the A-G requirements needed for college. JROTC has multidimensional goals that include life skills, leadership skills, fostering self-confidence, teaching how to communicate effectively, learning to listen, give, and receive feedback, and how to work well with other people by involving each individual in meaningful ways; motivating and empowering others and sharing leadership (e.g. skills needed in college and in the workforce). You tell me what other high school class has all of that? I'll save you the time and tell you it's NONE! Did you know that test scores and graduation rates are higher for students who participate in JROTC early in high school and for those who persist in the program? Well, it's true and I have the data to back it up.
I consider myself to be a "success story" of JROTC, and I will not sit idle as this program is being threatened to be removed when it has helped so many students achieve what seemed like the impossible in our teenage years. I urge you all to sign this petition to let Hollywood High School and the Los Angeles Unified District (LAUSD) know that they are making a grave mistake. Let them all know that we, the JROTC Alumni of Hollywood High School and the rest of this great country, support the mission and influence of JROTC.
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