JrROTC Lawrence High School Cadet Lt. Colonel Katerin Ucles Wins $4,325 Scholarship at Annual BASH

Lawrence Mayor Brian DePena and Eric Melanson from the Lawrence High School Alumni Association present a plaque and a scholarship check in the amount of $4,325 collected from readers of The Valley Patriot. All donors to this scholarship are listed below.

By: Kane – April, 2022

Kane went on a field trip to Lawrence High School to meet Valley Patriot BASH JrROTC scholarship recipient Cadet Lt. Colonel Katerin Ucles.

Kane has only been to dog school, so he felt honored to be invited to tour the JrROTC wing of Lawrence high school. You see, Katerin Ucles is a big deal! She must have pulled some big strings to get a dog inside.

Katerin serves as the Battalion Commander in the JROTC leadership team after participating in the program for 4 years. When Kane grows up, he hopes he can be as passionate and dedicated to serving his community as Katerin is about serving hers.

Kane thought Lawrence High School was gorgeous even though he was a bit nervous on the shiny stairs, Katerin gave him a big tour.

One of the highlights was meeting the seniors in the JROTC program. He felt very welcome, and everyone pet him and talked to him very nicely. The comradery in the program was contagious. He can see why Katerin says the JROTC program is a second home for her.

She discussed how she enjoys seeing her fellow cadets in school but also socially outside of school. Did you know that the Lawrence High School JROTC Program earned the Title of Massachusetts Drill State Champions? There was a lot of work that went into perfecting the team’s skills.

So exactly who is Battalion Commander Katerin Ucles?

Well for starters she has a big, beautiful smile and a friendly presence that is both professional and polite. Her eyes dance when she talks about her JROTC team and her plans for the future. Katerin told Kane, ‘I like to test my limits, show myself what I can do.’

She explained to Kane that it is important to keep moving forward. You see Katerin sees herself serving her community in the national guard as she continues her college education to pursue a career in criminal justice and law enforcement.

Kane asked her what inspired her to make these career choices?

Katerin explained she wants to feel like she makes a difference, by helping people. She feels this is important work, and ultimately a helping profession. She has learned through JROTC that integrity is an important value.

Her plan is to do work that she can feel proud of by serving the people of her community and country. Kane noticed how determined Katerin was to lean into her new adventure, as she said “Always keep moving forward.”

Kane asked Katerin what she would say to a high school student considering participating in JROTC?

She said, “You see yourself grow’ you learn how to live well and with integrity.’ The instructors and fellow cadets have been like a second family for Katerin.

Kane thought her family must be very proud of her. Katerin came to the United States with her older brother when she was 8 years old from Honduras to live with her dad. She certainly has hit the ground running. Besides JROTC Katerin has a job and enjoys working out in her spare time.

Katerin has been trying to decide where she will attend school in the fall. Secretly Kane hopes Katerin will attend the University of Lowell so maybe he will see her around campus. She is looking into the Criminal Justice Program and ROTC program at the University.

Regardless of where she goes, the school will be lucky to have her. It is rare to meet an 18-year-old with such drive and focus with a very distinct path she wishes to travel.

Thank you, Katerin, for meeting with me, you are both an inspiration and leader. As a side note Katerin said I could call her “Katy”, so I guess I made a friend today.

I will see Katy accept her Scholarship award at the Valley Patriot Bash, but I will keep my distance because as she explained, she will be in uniform, and I am very hairy.

I will admire her accomplishment from across the room.

Kane Woof, Woof ◊


Dave LaCroix  $200.00
Christina Lynn  $50.00
Vanessa Chirichiello  $100.00
Rubio Soler  $200.00
Kevin Droin  $100.00
Marc Mercier  $100.00
Alan Potvin  $100.00
Michelle Mannion  $20.00
Denise Peaslee  $50.00
Robin Gazelian  $100.00
Arlene Charest  $80.00
Yesenia Pepen  $100.00
James Valcourt in memorium  $100.00
Barbara (Jean) Simard  $100.00
Brianna Tirone  $50.00
Linette Perez  $100.00
Marc Laplant  $250.00
Al Apperti  $50.00
Ben and Nhi Wallens  $25.00
Anonymous  $500.00
Linda and Scott Evans  $100.00
Stacy Anne  $50.00
Brian Genest  $100.00
Stephanie A  $100.00
Dav-ID Consoli  $200.00
Eugene Smith  $1,300.00
Dan Bryant  $100.00