WEST MONROE,La (KTVE/KARD)–Students involved in the West Ouachita high School’s ROTC program say that the program is making an impact on their everyday lives.

Karlee Young, “ROTC is so much more than just going into the military because it builds your character and discipline”

West Ouachita High’s ROTC program is making a difference in students’ lives. The program has 109 students and accounts for ten percent of the school’s student population. West Ouachita High School student Karlee Young says the program benefits her mental health and wellbeing.

Karlee Young, “Now I’m definitely an extrovert because chief is always in here with a good attitude he’s always smiling whenever we come in here in the morning and i think it really affected me and my mental health as I’m always smiling now because chief is always cracking jokes.”

Chief Darrius Stewart served in the navy for twenty years and now instills his training into students. Chief Stewart says he’s proud to see students obtain skills that will help them in the future.

Darrius Stewart, “I gave them discipline and I gave them respect those were two words that I put on my board. I told them if you go by these and you live by these every day, you’ll do well in life, and picking up on them from day to day and noticing the change from day one up until now, it just gives me so much joy.”

The ROTC’s drill team is scheduled to perform at Louisiana Tech next month.