Leadership “Psychology” of Success–Wellness Starts Today!

Teacher Ms. Samantha Golberg works Cadet Staff Sergeant Kristen Estevez. Kristen is preparing for college with her acceptance from Queens College. [Photo: Al Día Today]

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

In this edition, I will share about a cadet in the Air Force Junior ROTC (AFJROTC) program who has been pursuing her dream, defining the standards of academic success. Cadet Staff Sergeant Kristen Estevez is a 16-year-old girl who lives in Queens, New York. In recent years, Kristen has developed a passion and drive for a career in psychology. Her main goal is to become a psychologist in a large firm. As an early graduate, she currently studies at Brooklyn Lab School (BLS) and the Young Adult Borough Centers (YABC). Kristen is preparing for college with her acceptance from Queens College. During her free time away from classes, she participates in various extracurricular activities. Kristen is a talented pianist, an artist that learns from the work of famous composers such as Mozart and Frederick Chopin. She also spends time reading novels, writing, and spending time with her friends and family.

While maintaining a 3.5 GPA, Cadet Estevez has worked hard to balance her time between clubs and completing her personal goals. Kristen is determined to pursue her psychology degree because of her hope for helping others and changing lives. She hopes to connect with those who struggle and need guidance. Kristen has started her journey by taking part in a scholar’s program at Long Island University, where she took Introduction to Psychology. She is now working to become a full-time college student as she heads toward her high school graduation in June 2022.

As a student in YABC and BLS, Kristen continues to advance significantly and receives excellent grades from teachers every day. She is also an honor student receiving grades of 95% and higher, exceeding the expectations of everyone while serving as a role model to all her peers. In the past years, I have witnessed AFJROTC cadets enter the YABC program to accelerate their learning by accumulating additional credits to graduate early. Behind the scenes and during the pandemic, she went beyond the call by working hard on her schoolwork and future.

One of Kristen’s teachers, Ms. Goldberg, says, “Kristen is the type of student every teacher wants. She is a hard-working, dedicated student with a kind heart.” This cadet strives for excellence in everything she does while continuously working towards her future. Her psychology career is taking off!