“Courage and confidence are key traits we need in our lives to be true to who we are,” said Trinity Vargas, a sophomore at North High School. “Having these two traits gives us the ability to take opportunities that’ll make us happier and our lives richer.”
Trinity, along with nearly a dozen DPS JROTC (Army Junior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps) cadets recently competed at one of the highest levels possible in the world of air rifle marksmanship, the western region Civilian Marksmanship Program (CMP) Regional Championships in Sandy, Utah. The DPS JROTC program is offered to high school students and teaches character education, student achievement, health and wellness, leadership and diversity.
CMP is a government-chartered program that promotes safety training and practice for all qualified U.S. citizens with special emphasis on youth. Students from Abraham Lincoln High School, North High School and West Leadership Academy competed in Utah.
“This event provides opportunities for students which extend well beyond high school while developing personal skills which will last a lifetime,” said Master Sergeant Mark Beasley from Abraham Lincoln’s JROTC program. “Confidence, critical thinking and self-discipline are just a few. It also opens the doors of opportunity to compete at the national level providing exposure to academy and college coaches with the ultimate goal being college scholarships.”
The DPS JROTC program’s expertise in air rifle marksmanship is nothing new, as teams have competed at the highest level possible over the years, including the All-Service National Air Rifle Competition. This year, students were able to compete in the elite Precision class, which is a step above the entrance-level sporter class and provides an opportunity to earn a scholarship.
“There are two classes in air rifle marksmanship,” said Lieutenant Colonel Steve Osterholzer, Director of Army Instruction for Denver JROTC. “Precision class opens the doors to college scholarships and that has become our priority in Denver.” In only its first year of having a precision category in Denver’s marksmanship league, the results have been nothing short of phenomenal. Students representing Abraham Lincoln’s team finished in the Top 25 in Utah, earning them a spot at the CMP Nationals which will be held in Ohio this summer.
For more information on ways JROTC prepares students students for postsecondary options, including college or the workforce, visit JROTC.dpsk12.org.