South Florida Air Force cadets receive scholarships

The South Florida Aerospace Scholarship Corporation recognized 52 cadets for their academic abilities and aptitude. Photo: Christine Casas/University of Miami

By Ashley A. Williams

The South Florida Aerospace Scholarship Corporation recognized 52 cadets for their academic abilities and aptitude. Photo: Christine Casas/University of Miami

South Florida Air Force cadets receive scholarships

By Ashley A. Williams
University of Miami’s Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps hosted a scholarship ceremony for 52 area recipients.

Since Shane Anderson was 4 years old, he knew he wanted to be in the military. But he wasn’t quite sure the route he would take until one summer afternoon. As the New Jersey native was searching for opportunities that interested him, he discovered the University of Miami’s Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC), Detachment 155. Its mission is to prepare students for officer commissions while earning a college degree from a four-year institution.

“When I was a kid my dad took me up to West Point Military Academy for a graduation ceremony, and to see all the cadets lined up, tossing their caps up, left a lasting impression on me,” said Anderson, a senior majoring in political science.

Early Wednesday, Anderson and 51 other cadets were recognized for their academic abilities and aptitude and received scholarships from the South Florida Aerospace Scholarship Corporation. Raul Mas, president of the corporation, warmly welcomed cadets and University leaders, including Jacqueline R. Menendez, vice president of the Office of University Communications, and David Rivero, chief of police of the University of Miami Police Department.

“I am looking into the audience, and I see over 50 young men and women of all colors and ethnicities—that’s what makes America great,” said Mas. “This is our way of saying thank you and giving you that extra push to pursue your passion.” 

Led by Lt. Col. Ross Vedder and Capt. Clifford Pigford, the Detachment 155 hosted cadets from 10 universities within Miami-Dade, Broward, and Palm Beach counties. Special guest Lt. Gen. Michael T. Plehn,  deputy commander of U.S. Southern Command, delivered an encouraging keynote speech that highlighted the lessons he has experienced throughout his career.

“There are five keys to success: performance, initiative, attitude, education, and grit,” he said. “Go out there and make a difference.”