NJROTC Students Earn More Than $3 Million in Scholarships

  • njrotc scholarship recipients pose with high school leadership holding giant checks

    Eleven Oak Harbor High School NJROTC Seniors were awarded more than $3 million in Army, Navy, and Air Force scholarships this month, a record amount for the program.

    The scholarship process is a rigorous two-year process that is mentored by Commander Vincent Quidachay, Senior Naval Science Instructor. Quidachay encourages junior cadets to take SAT and ACT tests twice during their junior year, as well as AP Calculus and AP or Honors English to help them achieve higher scores. In April, he assists them with applying for the Navy and encourages interested students to also apply for the Army and Air Force.

    The scholarships are awarded to well-rounded students who earn high grades and test scores, achieve high physical fitness scores, and participate in an exuberant amount of volunteerism and extracurricular activities. Students have to write three essays and participate in officer interviews, which they also prepare for with Quidachay. He then monitors scholarship results constantly.

    “I check the website every two hours. When I see that a cadet has been awarded, I pull them from class when I can, and together we call their families on speaker phone to announce the news.”

    Quidachay says that he likes to call parents with their students to acknowledge the student’s achievements as well as the parent’s sacrifices.

    “Their parents are teaching them the values and ethics that help get them to the finish line,” said Quidachay. “Hearing the emotion and pride in their voices is why I do it.”

    2022-2023 scholarship recipients are:

    • Avi Sallinger: $400,000 from US Air Force Academy; $200,000 from Air Force ROTC 

    • Kai Medina: $200,000 from Navy ROTC New Mexico; $135,0000 from Army Embry Riddle Aeronautical University

    • Raymond Shaffer: $135,000 Army Embry Riddle Aeronautical University; $200,000 Air Force Embry Riddle Aeronautical University

    • Jiro Evangelista: $400,000 Navy Prep Scholarship, University of San Diego

    • Jermaine Denmon: $200,000 Navy Prep Scholarship, University of Idaho

    • Thinalyn Ramier: $200,000 Army Texas Christian University

    • Jaedine Cabigiting: $135,000 Army University of Washington

    • Levi Pulliam: $135,000 Army Embry Riddle Aeronautical University

    • Kyle Eckles: $135,000 Army Texas A&M

    • Taylen Bader: $200,000 Navy University of Colorado Boulder; $200k Air Force

    • Nina Maines: $135,000 Army, Seattle Pacific University

    NJROTC is a citizenship and leadership program designed to encourage and help students to become informed and involved citizens of the United States. Oak Harbor High School’s NJROTC program was established in 1973. The 2022-2023 school year started with over 236 active cadets, the largest cohort in the program’s history.