Story by: C/2LT Bhumula, Chaitra
Photos by: C/SGT Rajesh, Johanna
During the spirited holiday season of 2023, Howard High School Army JROTC Cadets from 4th Brigade participated in a heartwarming service learning project to spread joy among the elderly residents of Lorien Health Services on December 14, 2023. The Cadets were determined to make a difference in the lives of these residents, who often feel lonely and isolated during the holiday season.
The Cadets brought their musical talents and created a lively and engaging performance, which included a variety of instruments, dances, and songs. They put in a lot of effort to ensure that the performance was entertaining and well-rehearsed through constant practice. Beyond the musical arrangements, the Cadets crafted thoughtful gifts, which were distributed among the residents.
This project brought smiles and holiday cheer to the residents and shared valuable lessons in service learning. The Cadets learned the distinction between community service and the deeper approach to service learning. Through orientation, meaningful service, and structured reflection, the Cadets gained firsthand experience in positively impacting a community through this memorable initiative. Through orientation, meaningful service, and structured reflection, the Cadets gained firsthand experience in positively impacting a community through this memorable initiative.
All residents were happy to see the Cadets and were filled with enthusiasm to see this year’s gifts and performances. The joy and excitement on the faces of the residents were evident, and it was a testament to the hard work and dedication of the Cadets. “Seeing our companies coming together to spend time with the Lorian residence was heartwarming. Getting to know how hard each Cadet worked to ensure the enjoyment of the elderly was my favorite part of capturing through my lens,” said photographer C/SGT Rajesh, Johanna.
Learning about service learning is very beneficial, but practicing it and experiencing the impact it creates in the environment around you demonstrates how essential it is to implement in our daily lives. These Cadets set an example to many young people, motivating them to be better citizens. The Cadets learned valuable lessons about the importance of service and community, and they will carry these lessons with them for the rest of their lives.