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Friday, February 2, 2018

New Club Instills Discipline and Leadership in Middle Schoolers

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When a Mansfield ISD counselor noticed that some students at her campus were not getting involved in the available extra-curricular activities, she decided to create one that helped build structure and self-confidence into children’s lives.

Catherine Wimbrey recalled how Junior Reserve Officers' Training Corps (JROTC) programs helped teenagers when she was growing up in California.

So, she picked up the phone and called the JROTC instructor at Mansfield High School to see if he could help bring a similar program to Rogene Worley Middle School.

“I was excited that she contacted us,” said Sgt. 1st Class Daniel Kinnel. “I was willing and able to help young students because if you reach the youth, you reach the world.”

Groups are divided into males and females for detailed instruction.
The award-winning high school cadets go to the middle school every Tuesday after school to lead the Junior Cadet Corp club. It’s a structure Kinnel said is a mutual benefit.

“We feed the kids what they need, and then they lead it,” Kinnel continued. “Kids want you to be out their way. They want to show you what they can do.”

The middle schoolers learn different techniques in color guard, marching and armed drills. Wimbrey said she has seen a positive change in the students already.

“There’s a drop in discipline issues, and students are more organized and motivated,” she said.

Because of the club’s success, a similar club was recently started at Brooks Wester Middle School. Wimbrey said she hopes it continues to make an impact in the youth.

“I’m invested into it because I love our students. There are so many of them that I believe that if they had the leadership, if they had the discipline, if they had the family, so many of them would go further in life. Overall lives are being changed by this program.”

Approximately 20 middle school students participate in Worley Middle School’s Junior Cadet Corp. Most of the students said they will join a JROTC program when they get to high school.