By: Alicia Sands Lurry
Cadet Lt. Col. Janae Bethea, a senior at Carver Early College High School and member of the JROTC (Junior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps), is the recipient of the 2017 Legion of Valor Bronze Cross Award for Achievement by the Department of the U.S. Army.
Janae, who is known as “Jay” to family and friends, is the only Atlanta Public Schools student and one of 28 recipients to receive the national award this year. Established in 1951, the Legion of Valor Bronze Cross Award for Achievement rewards cadets from the Reserve Officers Training Corps who demonstrate scholastic excellence in military, academic and civic affairs. It is the highest recognition a JROTC cadet can receive.
Chief Warrant Officer Albert Hill, senior Army instructor at Carver Early College, described Janae as a model student with a polite and courteous demeanor. He credits her unwavering work ethic, scholastic achievement, and leadership ability as key reasons she received the award.
Janae was recently recognized for her achievement during the annual Superintendent’s Youth Ambassador breakfast program.
“Jay is well respected among her peers and senior leadership, and I can always depend on her when I need someone to fulfill an obligation that has been assigned to the JROTC department,” Officer Hill said. “She is always a bundle of joy to be around and someone who will ensure the job is done without question or concern. Her inspiration and influence on others help make the entire JROTC program one of the best in the state of Georgia.”
A dual enrollment student at Georgia State University, Janae is currently ranked No. 1 in her graduating class. As a junior, she served as Battalion Commander and Miss JROTC, and is currently rifle captain and a drill team commander. She also participates on JROTC Staff and Color Guard.
“I joined JROTC as a freshman and found a passion and talent for leadership that I didn’t know I had,” said Janae, who plans to study mathematics in college. “One of the greatest things about JROTC is the sense of community it brings to me and everyone in the program. The best feeling comes with helping the community and the people within it through the community service offered in the program.”
In addition to JROTC, Janae is also active in the Helen Ruffin Reading Bowl and chess club. She has received college credits at Stanford University’s High School Summer College and completed a six-month internship at the Office of Congressman John Lewis. Last summer, she received a paid internship with CarterBaldwin Executive Search.
In her spare time, she loves to read fiction.