BRADENTON -- Five Junior Reserve Officers' Training Corps cadets received $2,000 in scholarships, and four others received $500 awards during a Bradenton Chapter of the Military Officers Association of America luncheon Wednesday.
As much as the cadets appreciated the awards, adults in the audience came away with something as well: encouragement about the future.
"They were as good a group of cadets as I've ever seen. They were excellent," chapter President Joyce Harte said. "I have no problem with our future with young people like that taking our place."
The chapter made the awards during the luncheon at Renaissance on Ninth to:
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Connor Powers of Manatee High School.
Connor Russell of Lakewood Ranch High School.
Arianna Priebe of Bayshore High School.
Alexis Yawn of Braden River High School.
Davis Fulghum of Palmetto High School.
Garron Shuck of Manatee, Nicole Knies of Bayshore, Fernando Cruz of Braden River and Kenneth Ansbro of Palmetto received $500 scholarships.
Recipients were chosen based on an application, activities, community service, an essay and an interview, Harte said.
The Manatee County Junior ROTC program has 1,600 students enrolled, said Manatee County Schools Superintendent Rick Mills, the keynote speaker.
Junior ROTC is about developing leadership ability, values and life-enhancing skills, Mills said.
"It teaches everything you would look for in a resume," Mills said.
Scholarship money comes from dividends from the sale of a defunct Disabled American Veterans property near Lakewood Ranch. Money the endowment earns each year is earmarked for the scholarship program, Harte said.
Retired Brig. Gen. Steve Solomon received a life membership in the Bradenton chapter for helping establish the endowment.
Powers said he appreciated the scholarship because of the faith it shows in contributions he will make in the future.
"That means the most," Powers said.
James A. Jones Jr., Herald reporter, can be contacted at 941-745-7053 or on Twitter @jajones1.