MADISONVILLE, Ky. (5/6/13) – The Madisonville Lion’s Club welcomed the Madisonville North Hopkins High School’s Naval JRROTC to join them for lunch and discuss the perks of their program.
Master Sargent Tim Gates of MNHHS has been teaching for 11 years and in multiple states. He started in Georgia in 2002, then moved to North Carolina, then made his way to Kansas for a brief time before taking the position in Madisonville at MNHHS.
Gates and his family moved here on June 28th of 2012. Since being here, his students have asked him why he chose Madisonville to live out of all the places he could have chosen from and Gates stated, “I explained to the kids that Madisonville was a really neat place to live. There’s no real crime, no real traffic, except for Main Street,” joked Gates. “But there are good wholesome people here and that is something when I moved out to the mid-west, I really found, that the south eastern part of the United States really has over the rest of the country…. Good wholesome people. But the kids from Madisonville North Hopkins High School are the real reason I took the job. When I first came in, with the very limit action I had with them, I could tell they were a really good bunch of kids,” continued Gates.
Currently there are 175 cadets in the JRROTC program at North Hopkins. The program teaches students the core values of HONOR, COURAGE and COMMITMENT that helps build their foundation of trust and leadership. These values and the program give the chance for one to participate in their education and to learn to be a better citizen. This program also provides the skills and tools that will be useful for not only while they are students in high school, but it will carry over into the remainder of their life. “We want the students to know what they want to do in life or at least have some general direction in which they want to go and be much better prepared from when they were when they first entered the program,” expressed Gates.
There are benefits that this program can offer if one decides to join the military. If a student decides to enlist, with the minimum of two years in the program, they can go into any branch of the military as an E2 instead of an E1. If a student does three years in the program, one can enter any branch except the marine core at a pay rate of an E3. Another benefit is the scholarship program. If a student is able to score high on their ACT scores, are physically fit and are willing to do a 5 year pay back tour from any branch of the military, they can get their college 100% paid for. Also, depending on which university in which the student will attend, if you are in the program with a 3.0 GPA or higher, one will also receive free room and board. “That is one the biggest benefits for me. This is one way we try and encourage students to go to college. Because not all students are able to afford to go and even if they can afford to go, it’s a guaranteed job when they walk out the door starting at $55,000 a year. There aren’t a lot of jobs today where you can start out making that much or guaranteed a job. So it’s a real good opportunity for the kids,” Gates also expressed.
On a local level, students visit the Veterans Center to play Bingo once a week; they also pick up trash and are highly involved in the Blood Drive. In addition to their at school activities, students also participate in out of school activities such as; drill meets, air rifle competitions and orienting.
For more information about the MNHHS Naval JRROTC you can visit the site at http://www.hopkins.kyschools.us/webpages/tgates/.
Photo Provided by Amber Mena
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