The JROTC program has been around since 1993 at Woodrow Wilson High and it continues to serve as an instrumental tool to education according to students. However, thanks to budget cuts the program is now on the chopping block and is set to end this year.
Chris Phelps is a senior at Woodrow Wilson and serves as the Core Commander and has been involved with since freshman year and has made a significant impact on his life, especially when it comes to leadership, responsibility and respect.
“I would say what I like most about this program is it gives students a way to express themselves and also learn valuable skills,” he said
His own mother, Monica Phelps has witnessed the program’s effects firsthand.
“I’ve seen the development of a confident good self-esteem, able to talk to people in public young man who’s ready to face the world get a job or go into the service, go to college and be a productive member of our society,” Phelps said.
As a result Chris and his fellow cadets spent their Saturday asking for the communities help to save their program.
Charles Carpenter is one the JROTC teachers at Woodrow. He’s been teaching the program for more than 20 years, and now his job is at risk. He said the program not only teaches invaluable lessons but also helps with college scholarships and also creates an advantage for those students looking to join the military after college.
“We stress integrity first service before self and so community service is a big deal to us excellence in all we do we set high standards for our cadets and we encourage them to meet high standards,” he said
The group plans to attend the next Raleigh County Board of Education meeting on Tuesday to voice their concerns and save the program. Carpenter says he holding on to hope that he will be able to keep his job and help get the program reinstated. “We’ve established a reputation in the community for being a good program helpful and not just to cadets but to their families and other people here in the community.”