KANE’S KORNER ~ Meet Lawrence JrROTC Commander Eileen Suarez, 2024 BASH Scholarship Winner



Kane Peaslee could not believe how energetic and motivated his new friend Commander Eileen Suarez is. Kane says,” It’s impressive how many purposeful tasks Eileen squeezes in each day.” Every morning Kane gets up at 6:00AM but really it’s just to eat, then he goes back to bed. Eileen does not go back to bed; she hits the ground running. Eileen attends drill and Color Guard practice every morning at 6:00 AM, goes to school all day, then attends JROTC programming after school. Besides classes for drill, her team competes with other JROTC programs where she serves as the Riffle Team Battalion Commander. Her team has consistently placed high in several local competitions.

Besides attending JROTC classes daily, Eileen enjoys teaching classes to the other cadets as an assistant teacher. Eileen often creates her own curriculum and works jointly with her staff on topic development and presentation. Kane thinks Eileen Suarez is going places; this young lady is on fire and always on the go.

Kane asked Commander Eileen Suarez exactly how did she know she wanted to be involved in JROTC. Eileen explained that her older brother, who is currently in the Army stationed in Kentucky, was very active in JROTC and she knew many of his friends. As his little sister he often encouraged her and included Eileen in activities with his friends. Eileen explained that JROTC is like a family. The cadets work together on projects, support each other’s academic journey, and socialize in their free time. Kane was blown away to learn that the JROTC program at Lawrence High School has 300 cadets. Kane thought “wow that’s a huge program” and he felt humbled to think that Eileen was the Commander of so many people. Kane noticed that Eileen is very confident for her age.

So, besides classes and drill practice in the morning, cadets under Eileen’s command serve as leaders in both their local community and school community. For example, Eileen serves as a school supporter at Lawrence High School. In this position she and other cadets help with translation and provide guided tours of the school. Eileen explained to Kane with great pride that once a month her JROTC detachment helps at the Cur-Unum Meal Center in Lawrence to help with feeding the homeless. She and her fellow cadets help with the preparation and distribution of meals.

Besides these two programs Eileen also goes into the 8th grade to talk to the students about the JROTC program. Kane thought, Eileen with her amazing communication skills would be the perfect person to talk to middle school students about joining JROTC.

So exactly what is next for Commander Eileen Suarez? Well Kane thinks the sky is the limit. Eileen will be the first person in her family to attend college. To date Eileen has applied to 20 colleges. Yale University is a school that definitely has sparked Eileen’s attention. Depending on the school she chooses, Eileen plans on participating in ROTC. She has applied to major in biology since the medical field calls to her. She then plans to attend medical school. Besides being appreciative of her JROTC professional staff and cadets Eileen is very appreciative of her family. She explained that her family is very close and they have served as her biggest fan and encourager.

Kane wants to remind people that there is still time to make a donation to the Lawrence High School JROTC 2024 Scholarship Fund through the Valley Patriot. Recipient Commander Eileen Suarez is truly amazing.


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For check donations to Lawrence High JrROTC Scholarship please make the check out to the Lawrence High Alumni Association ECCF!

Kane Peaslee, Columnist
Valley Patriot ◊