A Maiden Called Jaden

The Blue and White met with Jaden Marcum, a Senior at Apopka High School. We discussed what led her to join and stay in JROTC. Additionally, we spoke about her childhood, the lessons she follows, and her advice to her peers.

If I were introducing myself to another student, I would like to define myself as someone who is determined [and optimistic]. I like to look at the positives of life and find every possible [way to complete] anything that I do. I am also very extroverted and talk a lot.

[I consider JROTC] competitions and friendships I’ve made [to be core memories.] [I value] the memories that I have with them along with family members as well. [Especially,] growing up and how I was with my siblings and family. [I specifically remember] the lessons we’ve learned from one another: How to treat people, how to treat one another, and how a family is actually supposed to be. They even taught me how to love all the other people around us, not just family.

After high school, I plan to join the Navy. I have always wanted to do the military since I was a kid. [I knew the Navy was for me] when I walked out of the Navy office: I never felt so sure about something in my life. So I feel like maybe [the Navy] is where I am supposed to go. [Right now,] I am working on my academic and physical portion.

[I was inspired to join JROTC because of] the benefits it would bring to me in the future when joining the military. I [also] saw how everyone would get along with each other. [I decided to stay in JROTC because of] the family I made while [within] this program. I stayed for the class and everything I learned and can use outside this program, like loyalty, respect, and skills–[specifically determination]. [With JROTC,] I have learned how to handle situations in the future and figured out how to resolve conflicts. [Additionally,] I learned how to treat people with much more respect and handle day-to-day conflicts.

I think [Apopka high school students] should join [JROTC] because you learn many life skills. You meet people you never thought you would have ever gotten along with. You find family and do a lot of  fun things. I personally never thought I would ever see myself doing drill, whatsoever. And now, here I am where I can look forward to all the competitions and practices for the Drill Team, Color Guard, and PT team.

Outside of JROTC, are there any lessons from life that you live by?
Mainly, don’t give up because if you give up, you’ll end up missing a bunch of things. But I feel like if you go and shoot for it, you’ll be able to accomplish a lot more than you think.

[I would like to tell the readers to] go for your goals. In the end, everything changes, but if you shoot for the main goal, once everything starts lining up, you will start looking forward to a lot more things in your life and gain motivation.