Washington Football's Team President Jason Wright, alongside Head Coach Ron Rivera and SVP of Media Julie Donaldson, surprised three very deserving Cadet's in Howard University's 130th US Air Force ROTC Detachment on Monday night. In celebration of the team's Salute to Service Month, the executive team worked with ROTC Commanders in setting up a virtual meet and greet with three exceptional students that have demonstrated ROTC core values and characteristics.
The students, or Cadets, were invited to the virtual meet-and-greet with team executives under the impression they would be talking about their experience in the ROTC program and possibly identify opportunities for the team to partner with or enhance the program in coming seasons. What the Cadets didn't know is that Coach Rivera, Donaldson, and Wright were prepared to share information with them that would reward them for academic excellence and act as a milestone for their educational and professional careers.
Julie Donaldson Informs Cadet Javon Price He's Been Selected to Be Cadet Wing Commander
Cadet Javon Price is a senior at Georgetown University studying Foreign Politics with a focus in Security Studies. Holding numerous leadership roles within the University, Cadet Price is the Campus Ambassador at Georgetown for the Institute of Politics and Public Service. Seeing ROTC as a Public Service. Prior to ROTC, Cadet Price was formerly enlisted active duty in the Air Force for four years and decided to go to back to school to be an Officer of color. Not seeing many people that looked like him while active duty, Cadet Price is focused on setting an example for other people of color that are dedicated to public service and serving their country.
Although the virtual event was meant to be a surprise for all three Cadets, Price had mentioned in his introduction that he had already been privately told he would be taking command as the newest Detachment 130 Spring 2020 Cadet Wing Commander. This position puts Cadet Price in charge of planning and executing training for all 93 cadets in his detachment. The detachment, Howard University's 130th Detachment, includes students from American University, Catholic University, George Washington University, Georgetown University, Marymount University, Trinity University, and the University of the District of Columbia.
Donaldson was happy to congratulate the young man on all of his success – followed by praise from Jason Wright on Price's determination to put himself in uncomfortable situations (being the first), and where that would eventually take him.
Head Coach Ron Rivera Rewards Cadet Luke Lynch with Commander's Scholarship for Excellence
The next student Cadet Luke Lynch, a Sophomore from American University, is a Public Health Major on a premedical track to become a Combat Rescue Officer in the United States Air Force. Currently serving as an EMT at American University, Lynch prided himself on taking everything he learned from the ROTC program into the ambulance with him. Lynch chose the ROTC program in remembrance of his time spent as a public servant with his late father at a local soup kitchen growing up. His greatest accomplishment, aside from leading his Detachment in training efforts for Public Health and Safety, was his participation in efforts to increase diversity and inclusion within ROTC and USAF.
Coach Rivera asked Luke about his goals after college, and the young man laid out a wide variety of military related avenues in the medical field – from medical school to combat rescue. After hearing about his aspirations, Coach Rivera had no question why he was surprising the Cadet with the 2020 Commander's Scholarship for Excellence worth up to $18,000 a year. The Cadet was surprised and speechless. A very special moment shared across the ZOOM stream
Jason Wright Surprises Cadet Nnamdi Olebara with United States Air Force ROTC HBCU Scholarship
The final participant, Cadet Nnamdi Olebara, hailed from Howard University and prided himself a student athlete on the football team and track & field team. Lt Colonel People, the ROTC Commander at Howard University, described the young man's tenacity and willingness to outwork his peers for overall excellence earning a 4.0 GPA while a student athlete and a part-time worker at Taco Bell. Olebara was thrilled to be on the call, a Defensive Lineman himself, who has been offered opportunities at many other Universities, but proudly attends Howard considering it a home to him. His background as an ROTC Air Force student in high school brought him many early successes and opportunities – and he'd eventually like to become a CO of a Fortune 500 Company ("and where better to learn about leadership than the United States Air Force").
Wright was excited to inform the young man that he would be receiving the United States Air Force ROTC HBCU Scholarship covering full tuition for the rest of the young man's academic career at any HBCU. Cadet Olebara expressed excitement and relief – telling the group he had originally been accepted to West Point but chose Howard to participate in athletics (and accept tuition) with the drive and intent to earn the scholarship.
The Washington Football Team thanks Howard University United States Air Force ROTC Program for allowing our organization to be apart of these special moments.