Hard Work, Dedication, and Passion are Essential to Academic Success

El programa de entrenamiento del cuerpo de cadetes de la Fuerza Aérea (AFJROTC) está diseñado para “Desarrollar ciudadanos de carácter dedicados a servir a su nación y comunidad”. from left to right...Ms. Rosalie Marks, YABC school leader, Cadet 2Lt Ayesha Ejaz, YABC student, and Cadet 2Lt Fatima Ejaz. [Photo: AL DIA TODAY]

By Lt. Col. Ralph Gracia USAF Ret. 
Guest Columnist

NEW YORK – This edition will share information about two influential organizations that have clearly defined the standards of academic success. The Air Force Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps (AFJROTC) day program is designed to “Develop citizens of character dedicated to serving their nation and community.” At the same time, the Young Adult Borough Centers (YABC) has a robust, Shared Instruction evening program.

Both programs provide training for the necessary leadership skills and traits essential for academic success. In the past five years, I have witnessed AFJROTC cadets also enter the YABC program to accelerate their learning by accumulating additional credits to graduate on time. Graduating from high school is an essential step in any student’s life. It takes hard work, dedication, and passion to earn a high school diploma, especially during the pandemic.  

Instructors and faculty are instrumental during this educational process. These supporters can provide the organizational leadership to mentor students on the path to a successful future. Being surrounded by students who are focused, living their dreams, and pursuing happiness are crucial elements that foster passion. Passion is truly contagious. Witnessing students pursue their goals is the fuel that motivates educators to keep going. 

Ms. Rosalie Marks, YABC school leader, has shared the leadership principles needed to guide people and their organizations to become better critical thinkers and decision-makers for many years. According to Stephen Covey, to be effective, one must be focused on being proactive, seeking to understand and work well with others, and keeping a focus on the end goal. Educational programs like YABC and AFJROTC are only among the many factors involved in the daily operations of a student attending Brooklyn Lab School at Franklin K. Lane Educational Campus. 

Cadet 2nd Lt Fatima and Cadet 2nd Lt Ayesha Ejaz are twin sisters in both programs. Fatima and Ayesha shared that the programs have many benefits, but they also take time and dedication. Therefore, you must bring your A-game in other aspects to the table. Cadet 2nd Lt Fatima Ejaz says, “I am experiencing awesome times in high school, and when that time comes to reflect, I will remember more fondly the fun and friends than the hundreds of hours I spent in class virtually, taking extra classes, and studying in my room.” It truly takes hard work, dedication, and passion to flourish in an ever-changing society. I am very proud of the students who decide to go the extra mile to achieve their dreams. Fatima’s dream is to peruse a career in financial management. She would like to manage companies or organization’s finance system. Ayesha on the other hand, her dream is to become a neurologist. Ayesha is interested in learning more about brain functions and the mystery behind this complex organ that controls us and our behaviors.