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​Ladies in leadership: Girls taking Central Catholic JROTC by storm

July 12, 2021 | posted by Emmanuelle Mefrige

Topics: Catholic Schools, Hope for the Future

Ladies in leadership: Girls taking Central Catholic JROTC by storm

Eighteen years ago when Providence Catholic School first entered the Central Catholic High School JROTC program, the number of females was nominal. Fast forward to 2021: not only does the female population now also include students from Incarnate Word High School, but the overall enrollment of girls in the program is at a new all-time high at 22.

This year especially, the girls have played a key role in the leadership and betterment of the corps. Ashli Driskill (‘22), who became the first ever female junior to become a Company Commander, has been named First Battalion Commander for the next school year, and earned the positions of Female Color Guard Commander and the Commander of the Bordelon Rifles team. Additionally, Emmanuelle Mefrige (‘23) has been named the next Alpha Company Commander and Executive Officer of the Female Color Guard, as well as the JLAB Academic team Co-Commander.

Other significant achievements by female cadets include: two Presidential Fitness Awards, the Veteran of Foreign Wars Scholastic Award, the Daughters of 1812 Award, four consecutive Cadet of the Quarter Awards, this year’s Officer Candidate School Honor Graduate, as well as the first ever female Cadet of the Year.

These young ladies are examples of what it means to be strong, confident females, and they demonstrate how to persevere in such a competitive environment. “The JROTC program has changed me to be the young woman and leader I’ve always wanted to become,” junior Zavanna Montague says, as the program provides her and the other female cadets the opportunity to excel in a way not many others have the chance to, especially in such a unique setting where they are completely outnumbered by the boys of Central Catholic, about 12 to 1.

These accomplishments have not been easy, however, as they continuously face the reality of being a female in a male-dominated program. Head female officer Ashli Driskill (‘22) says, “When I first joined JROTC as a freshman, I was the only girl in my class. Now as a junior, I'm happy that our program has grown so much so quickly. I am extremely proud of these girls and I am honored to act as a leader for them and to be an example of what is possible for a female in this program.” The future looks bright for these driven young women.