ROCKINGHAM — One Richmond Senior Excessive Faculty JROTC Cadet has spent the previous 4 years getting ready for all times after commencement. One occasion Tuesday turned the pages to a brand new chapter in her life as she prepares to stroll onto the stage at Raider Stadium to obtain her diploma in June.
Cadet Andrea Ellerbe signed an ROTC scholarship with South Carolina State College throughout a ceremony on April 25, 2023, at the highschool.
Lecturers, associates, and household had been available to rejoice Ellerbe’s journey towards turning into a commissioned officer within the U.S. Military and attending a Traditionally Black Faculty and College.
Ellerbe mentioned she’s all the time wished to be in JROTC since day one on the ninth-grade academy.
“I wished to do it as a result of my siblings did it, and I wished the identical factor,” she mentioned. “I’ve all the time loved it, and right here I’m 4 years later, getting an ROTC scholarship.”
Ellerbe mentioned her plans are to get a level in felony justice and be a army police officer after graduating faculty.
“I’ve all the time wished to be an Military officer, and right now is one step nearer to that dream,” she mentioned.
Her path thus far was tough, however her can-do angle and the Military values helped information her by highschool. Ellerbe mentioned JROTC helped her handle all of the alternatives all through her highschool profession.
“One of many greatest issues JROTC has taught me are management expertise,” she mentioned. “I’ve discovered to remain targeted and be up to the mark that come up in my life. With out it, I don’t suppose I’d be the particular person I’m right now.”
To current the ceremonial checks and some mementos from the college was Lt. Col. (Ret) Anthony Watson, Recruiting Operations Officer, South Carolina State College.
“It’s the explanation why I’ve been doing this job for 20-plus years, as a result of each time I meet a freshman, I’m coming to excessive faculties like Richmond, and I wish to see them by to completion of their diploma and fee,” Watson mentioned after the ceremony.
Ellerbe has been a four-year JROTC cadet, all whereas collaborating in quite a few extracurricular actions like observe, Beta Membership, and Senate – all whereas sustaining good grades and being a job mannequin for different Raider college students.
Maj. (Ret.) Darryl Kelly, the Raider Battalion Senior Military Teacher, mentioned Ellerbe’s accomplishments end result from dedication, preparation, and placing in lengthy hours and laborious work.
“She shouldn’t solely be counseled for incomes this honor, however she’s worthy of recognition for the work it takes to obtain a full scholarship to a few educational establishments of upper studying and for placing that work in whereas being a constructive and shining instance of every thing constructive concerning the JROTC Program, the college, and this nice group.”
In JROTC, she has participated as a member of the Raider, Drill, Saber, Shade Guard, and Archery groups and the JROTC Educational/Management Crew. Ellerbe was appointed because the Raider Battalion Government Officer and promoted to the JROTC rank of Cadet Lieutenant Colonel.
Jim Butler, Richmond Senior Excessive Faculty Principal, mentioned Ellerbe found her path after highschool by becoming a member of the army and attending faculty.
“She’s discovered a path,” he mentioned in the course of the ceremony. “She’s profiting from alternatives which might be on the market for lots of scholars, and she or he knew what she wished. She went out and acquired it.”
Butler mentioned Ellerbe is main by instance for all different college students in Richmond County Faculties.
“If there’s anyone proper now in Richmond that’s the poster little one of our recruitment poster for what we wish to be about, Andrea Ellerbe personifies what we’re all about right here,” he mentioned. “She’s the type of particular person I hope that we will get to come back again right here over the subsequent few years, speak to our college students and say, look, these items are on the market, and the laborious work that it’s important to do to achieve your targets.”
Arthur Gilliam, a historical past instructor, and senate advisor at the highschool, mentioned Ellerbe is the epitome of a scholar chief.
“Andrea is all the time there after we want her,” Gilliam mentioned. “She all the time goes over and past, and she or he places it within the work.”
First Sgt. (Ret.) Aaron Mild, the Raider Battalion Assistant Military Teacher, mentioned Ellerbe checks all of the packing containers for ROTC recruiters.
“She most likely has one of many highest GPAs we now have had right here at Richmond,” he mentioned. “That’s what makes her aggressive.”
He mentioned Ellerbe may most likely do extra pullups and run quicker than many of the boys at Richmond and is a pure chief.
“She’s an athlete, and she or he’s quick,” he mentioned about her highschool observe workforce health stage and through JROTC occasions. “She’s had each management place, from non-public to squad chief, all the best way as much as the chief officer.”
Mild mentioned Ellerbe leads from the entrance and has all the time been accountable for the Raider Battalion’s performances – good and unhealthy.
“Her quantity is on my pace dial as a result of she’s my backup,” he mentioned. “When one thing doesn’t go proper, I can rely on her to repair the issue. Each time she solutions the telephone, she says, ‘What do you want me to do and the place you want me to do it?’”
In 4 years, Mild expects a name for the date and time of her commissioning ceremony to get that first salute from Ellerbe and watch her graduate faculty.
“We’re very pleased with her and her accomplishments,” Mild mentioned. “Hopefully, our cadets will see what they’ll accomplish by placing in effort and time. Something is feasible.”