Published on Friday, October 21, 2011 by Stephani Whisenant
Memorizing calls, mastering push-ups and perfecting flag showings are difficult tasks that take dedication from all members of the JROTC (Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps). For junior Kevin Sellers, however, the level of difficulty is taken to a whole new level.
Sellers is deaf and part of the Deaf Education program. Sound challenging? Sellers says it can be hard, but not impossible.
“In the beginning it was tough, doing the voice commands and everything,” Sellers said. “The leader of the guard invented hand signals for me to follow, which makes it easier for me.”
Though it may be harder for Sellers than it is for the rest of the JROTC group, it is just as rewarding and he believes it is helping him in all the right ways.
“The best part is the guard,” Sellers said. “I enjoy the drills and going to the games, but also getting to help other people in the community and be a role model to other deaf students.”
Colonel Stan Furlough, instructor for the JROTC class, says that Sellers adapts well to the organization.
“He responds to the group quite well,” Furlough said. “He’s very reliable, dependable, and is in the top of his class.”
Deaf Ed teacher Carla Carey says it was hard for Kevin to adjust to the JROTC program at first, but he eventually overcame his obstacles.
“In the beginning Kevin was insecure about his deafness and about who he was” Carey said. “JROTC has helped him overcome those barriers.”
JROTC has not only helped Sellers become more confident, but also continues to help in other areas of his life, both school-wide and communal.
“JROTC has helped me to focus on passing my classes,” Sellers said. “It has also made me want to help others if they need help.”
By participating in JROTC, Sellers is acquiring skills for his future career with the military by gaining new opportunities that would not be available to him if he was not in the program.
“I see Sellers in a government job assisting the military, since he likes the military,” Furlough said.
Whether he goes into the military or not, JROTC has taught him how to be better involved in the world in general.
“I want to be a pillar in my community,” Sellers said. ”JROTC helps me with that.”