HISD holds inaugural Military Career Day to ready juniors for post-grad opportunities

889 high school juniors assembled at Delmar Fieldhouse for HISD’s first-ever Military Career Day on Thursday, Jan. 11. The event was packed with information about the advantages of pursuing military or ROTC options after high school.

The afternoon began with a general session where students were able to hear from military servicepeople who explained the educational benefits, financial incentives, and diverse career opportunities that the United States armed forces offer. Speakers included Commander Sergeant Major Brian Briggs, who introduced the Sam Houston JROTC for the Posting of the Colors, Major Joshua T. Mitchell, Executive Officer of the Houston Recruiting Battalion, and Captain Kelechi Odocha, Director of Diversity and Recruitment and Enrollment at the United States Military Academy at West Point.

To conclude the session, Major Sean Hoyt from the Houston SORD program—an ROTC scholarship program whose recipients benefit from full-ride college scholarships to students who showcase exceptional leadership potential—awarded SORD scholarships of more than a combined $300,000 value to Heights High School senior Sophia Contello, Westside High School senior Shriti Gupta, and Bellaire High School senior Madina Shabanova.

“This opportunity will allow me to work on my discipline and my emotional and social growth in college as I work toward being a female leader in the military,” said Contello, who is attending Texas A&M University next year. “I believe that events like this are important because it allows students to open their eyes to all of the endless opportunities that HISD is offering to them, whether that be in the military, in your career, in the workforce—HISD wants you to have a successful future, and they want to set you up to be successful.”

The students were invited to peruse the second-floor hallway where universities and military recruiters waited to answer questions, provide information about their programs, and discuss the wide variety of career options available in the armed forces.

“Often, these young men and women don’t believe that they’re good enough,” said Hoyt. “A lot of them sell themselves short, and we actually highlight their achievements and provide those opportunities to not only go on to college, but also to reach their dreams and goals and provide a network of assistance through not only ROTC, but for when they become an army officer and a leader.”

To finish out the day’s exciting events, HISD Superintendent Mike Miles held a press conference to announce the creation of HISD’s first military academy. Read more about the Cullen Military Academy at Cullen Middle school here.

HISD’s next Military Career Day, this time for high school seniors, will take place on Thursday, March 7.

To learn about HISD’s JROTC programs and ROTC scholarships, visit the HISD JROTC website.

To learn more about HISD’s postsecondary programs, visit the Postsecondary Programming website.

For more information on military readiness after high school, visit the Office of College, Career and Military Readiness website.