Smooth Sailing: Picayune NJROTC students awarded Navy scholarships

Published 7:00 am Wednesday, May 25, 2016

college bound: From left, Jordan Williamson and Myesha Rankin proudly show off their Navy scholarships.  Photo by Cassandra Favre

college bound: From left, Jordan Williamson and Myesha Rankin proudly show off their Navy scholarships.
Photo by Cassandra Favre

Monday, during awards night, two NJROTC students from Picayune Memorial High School were recognized for receiving a combined total of $360,000 in Navy scholarships.
Jordan Williamson and Myesha Rankin each received a $180,000 scholarship to be utilized at the college of their choice, which will cover tuition costs.

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Jordan Williamson has been a member of the Picayune’s NJROTC program for the past four years and said it has given her the confidence she needs to be a leader.
She has served as commanding and executive officer.
“It gave me a family when I was going through hard times,” she said. “NJROTC gave me confidence and showed me that hard determination pays off and to stay dedicated to what you do in life.”
Jordan plans to attend Milsaps College and major in nursing. Her father, Harlan, is a nurse supervisor in a psychiatric facility. She said her grandparents’ influence helped her decide what career to choose.
“I want to save lives and make a positive impact, leave something behind,” she said.
She also received the Milsaps Presidential scholarship, which is valued at $104,000. She graduated fifth in her class with a grade point average of 98.9.
Jordan said NJROTC is a wonderful program that helped her in many ways.
Harlan said saving lives is in their family’s bloodline and he wasn’t shocked by her academic successes.
“She comes from a family that likes to better themselves and other people,” Harlan said. “NJROTC gave her structure, goals to complete and she learned discipline as well as time- management.”

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Myesha Rankin also completed four years in PMHS’ NJROTC program. She served as a command master chief and commanding officer. She participated on the shooting and drill teams.
She also spoke of the sense of family the program provides.
“NJROTC also taught me discipline and helped me control my emotions and attitude towards life,” she said. “It gives you real insight into what real organization is like in the Navy.”
In order to qualify for the scholarship, Myesha said she submitted her transcript, test scores, a physical fitness test and documentation of her involvement in community service.
She plans to attend Southern University and A&M College in Baton Rouge where she will major in mechanical engineering.
Myesha’s mother, Marsha, said her daughter is hardworking, dedicated and focused.
“Those are the qualities that give her drive,” she said. “She doesn’t give up. Once she gets her mind set on something, she’s going to do it. I was the reason she went into NJROTC because I felt she needed discipline. She ended up loving it. Her instructors helped me to work with her and pull out her good qualities, believe in herself and realize that the sky is the limit.”