JACKSON, MS -- JROTC Cadet Jasmine Taylor is the 2021 JPS Cadet of the Year. Promoted to Cadet Colonel, Taylor will serve as the JPS JROTC Brigade Commander for School Year 2021-2022. A junior at Callaway High School, Taylor currently serves as the 4th Battalion Executive Officer.
Cadet Taylor is truly an extraordinary person, outstanding scholar, and leader. She is highlydedicated, very goal-oriented, and will work diligently for what she is passionate about. When she sets her mind on a specific outcome, Taylor will strive for perfection and take the responsibility of working hard until she meets her goal. One of her short!term goals is to become the valedictorian of her class by maintaining and increasing her 4.0 GPA.
Taylor has been very active within JROTC for three strong consecutive years, and before that, she was in the Junior Cadet Corps at Powell Middle School Academy of Military Science. At Callaway High School, she participates in the National Junior Honor Society, the JROTC Drill Team, the Charger "Funk" Band, Finally First Mentorship, and TAP. She has performed various acts of community service, such as feeding the homeless at Stewpot, visiting the elderly at Nursing Homes, and caring for rescued animals. She also participated in the Jackson State University Interdisciplinary Center of Nanotoxicity STEM Leadership Academy Summer Institute.
After high school, Taylor plans to attend college to obtain a degree and become an Animal Scientist. She credits her family, instructors, and community for constantly pushing her to become the better version of herself.
Jackson Public Schools announced the Cadet of the Year at the 17th Annual JPS JROTC Cadet of the Year Awards Ceremony held on February 25. This year's ceremony was conducted virtually due to the ongoing pandemic. Additionally, the District celebrated all of the finalists as the top cadets of their schools along with the top cadets from each grade level 9th-12th and the top cadets from Powell Academy of Military Science grades 6th-8th. The event was well-attended by JROTC cadets, parents, JROTC instructors, school officials, and community supporters.
The six remaining school!level Cadets of the Year for 2021 are:
- Cadet LTC Tre'Diamond Taylor – Lanier High School
- Cadet MAJ Elizabeth Hawkins – Murrah High School
- Cadet MAJ Christopher Brown – Wingfield High School
- Cadet MAJ E'Jacia Adams – Forest Hill High School
- Cadet 1LT Madison Green – Provine High School
- Cadet CPT Cydnee Burgess – Jim Hill High School
The Cadet of the Year competition is a rigorous process that begins at the school level. At the district-level, the competition becomes more involved and intense. Cadets were required to submit a comprehensive portfolio that included a résumé with references, examples of academic work, records of GPA and class standing, evidence of academically challenging coursework, an essay, proof of community service work.
Serving on the 2021 Cadet of the Year selection panel were:
- Ms. Laketia Marshall!Thomas, JPS Assistant Superintendent of High Schools
- Mr. Ben Minnifield, Stand and Serve Organization
- COL Alan Chouest, U.S. Air Force
- LTC Steven Robinson, Professor of Military Science, Army ROTC, Jackson State University
- LTC Christian Newton, Professor of Military Science, Army ROTC, Alcorn State University
- Master Sergeant. Kirk Thompson, Senior Military Instructor, Alcorn State University
- Ms. Thea Faulkner, JPS Partners in Education
- Ms. Gwen Haniff, Southwest Airlines
"The Cadet of the Year program was implemented to recognize and reward the district's most outstanding scholars and to inspire others to strive for excellence in all their endeavors," said Col. (Ret.) Paul Willis, Director of JROTC Programs.