Early Gowanda graduate joins ROTC

January 23 was a proud day for Gowanda High School students and staff as they said goodbye to one of their classmates. Robby Russell, a senior, officially attended his last day of school that Monday.

Robby graduated from Gowanda a semester early under the ROTC program at St. Bonaventure College. The ROTC is a reserved officer-training program, and Robby plans on joining the army.

“There are soldiers out there who have fought for our families, and I feel as if I owe them,” Robby stated when asked who and what his inspirations were.

He first became interested in joining the army from his dad, who works in the field of security. He then met with Sergeant Hernandez on a school field trip to St. Bonaventure, who talked fondly of the program. From that point he signed up for the ROTC, and is one step closer to achieving his goal.

Robby hopes to be leaving for a boot camp called Fort Leonard Wood by March. He will be undergoing training there until June or July, and plans on attending St. Bonaventure for regular classes in the fall of 2012.

“I had to graduate early,” he explains. “If I hadn’t, I would have missed the whole first semester of my first year of college. It was a hard decision, but it will help me in the end.”

As a 17-year-old, making decisions can be a hard part in life. Robby’s decision definitely wasn’t the easiest, and he wants to thank everyone who has supported him along the way.

“Thank you to my friends, my family, and everyone at Gowanda High School.”


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