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    Orange County Native Accepted to the Marine Corps' Leadership Academy



    Story by Sgt. Jessica Quezada 

    12th Marine Corps District

    Leadership is commonly defined as the art of motivating a group of people to act towards achieving a common goal. For the students attending the Summer Leadership and Character Development Academy (SLCDA), they will be challenged to step out of their comfort zone. To achieve their common goal students must strengthen their confidence and leadership skills.

    High School sophomores and juniors are selected every year to attend this week-long academy in Quantico, VA. Luke Jones, a junior at Valley Christian Cerritos High School, is among the elite students who were hand selected for this year’s program.

    “Being selected to the SLCDA is another step toward becoming a great Marine Corps Officer one day capable of leading and inspiring fellow Marines,” said Jones. “It means a lot to know that I am on track to potentially be chosen for the NROTC scholarship and ultimately commission as an officer.”

    The Students receive six days of exceptional leadership and mentorship from Holocaust survivors and highly successful entrepreneurs. They will learn how to lead from those who define the virtues of character and ethical decision-making - United States Marines.

    As an aspiring Marine Corps Officer, Jones previously attended the Devil Pups Program at Camp Pendleton, and says he learned a lot about instant obedience to orders in recruit training, but he wants to further develop himself by attending SLCDA and gain more leadership experience.

    “I realize that I am a part of the next generation of Marines . . . and in a few years I will be responsible for the training and safety of other Marines and want to be as knowledgably and disciplined as possible before taking on the role,” said Jones.

    The SLCDA is not open to everyone, applicants must have a strong GPA, perform well on the Initial Strength Test, and participate in extracurricular service-orientated activities.

    Jones’ commitment to his academics and athletics is unparalleled to most American students. If he’s not studying to maintain a 4.2 GPA, he’s training as a varsity athlete playing basketball, baseball, and football.

    “I love competition, whether it’s physical or mental. To be great at sports one must be willing to be molded and pushed beyond what they believe is possible. This is similar to the Armed Forces and I hope that my ability to push myself on the court and field will translate into my skills as a Marine,” said Jones.

    The goal of SLCDA is to return students back to their communities more confident, selfless and better equipped to improve the lives of those around them. Jones already demonstrates his commitment to his country through countless volunteer hours in his community.

    Jones said through his church mission trips he has gained a broader perspective of societies and how many people suffer around the globe. Volunteering has become his contribution to the world and believes it is a part of our duty to help if we can.

    Through this academy, Jones will develop as a young student looking to serve his nation as a leader in the Marine Corps and in the community. His respect for the organization inspires him take what he can during this week in Quantico and translate it to everyday life.

    “I hope to gain practical skills and knowledge that will help me in my life as a student and civilian. Good leadership qualities will be an asset to me throughout my life making it all the more important to polish them now. This program will influence and improve me in the area of leadership and discipline - improving my ability to influence and help people in my everyday life. SLCDA will help me become the best U.S. Marine I am capable of being.”



    Date Taken: 05.30.2018
    Date Posted: 05.30.2018 18:50
    Story ID: 278922
    Location: CERRITOS, CA, US 
    Hometown: CERRITOS, CA, US

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