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More students are becoming interested in joining the JROTC program

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Sunnyside Wash. -- Students at Sunnyside high school are learning leadership skills and discipline through their new Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps program.

Fernando Casas has wanted to join the military since he was 5 years old.

Now Fernando is a junior at Sunnyside high school and when he heard about the new Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps program at his school he did not hesitate to join.

“My parents were like are you sure you want to do this, there’s multiple opportunities but I just stuck with my wits and did it," said Casas.

The JROTC program will help kids learn about different exercises practiced in the military.

Senior Army Instructor Kent Palmer says this can be a great gain for the workforce in Yakima because many of the kids are learning skills that can be put to work in any career field not just the military.

“They learn a lot about leadership things they can use wherever they go whatever kind of job they do. That ability to stand up and confidently talk to people, explain themselves how they want things done and to motivate them because that’s one of the hardest things to do," said Palmer.

Through the JROTC program kids will learn about leadership skills, discipline, how to be a good citizen and some military practices.

They expected around 75 students to sign up but they now have around 140 students enrolled.

Principal of Sunnyside high school Ryan Maxwell says the class of 2017 had a record of 23 students enlist in different branches of the armed forces after graduation and now this program has caught student’s attention.

“Were sending kids out in the world that are going to have skills and many of those kids come back to the community they come back to Sunnyside come back to Yakima and they have higher paying jobs and they can provide and give services to the community that they couldn’t had done without the military or college," said Maxwell.

Principal Maxwell says he hopes to keep this program growing and get more students involved in the future.

If you want more information on the JROTC program click here.

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