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H.M. King High School JROTC student makes history

Daniella O'Grady
Posted at 6:46 PM, Jun 14, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-15 00:13:15-04

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas  — While some high-school students might spend their summer doing odd jobs or hanging out with friends, one Kingsville student already has completed a Naval Academy STEM Summer Program in Annapolis, Maryland.

Daniella O'Grady will be a senior this fall at H.M. King High School. She applied and was accepted to a weeklong Naval Academy Summer STEM Program.

The JROTC member returned from her adventure on Tuesday, and this is the first time a cadet from her high school has gone to the U.S. Naval Academy.

"I would like to thank my sergeant for making this opportunity aware to me," Daniella said.

The program is a catalyst for students who want to pursue science and engineering.

Daniella said she plans to make a career in the military and hopes to work with anything related to STEM and robotics.

"I've always loved sci-fi movies," she said. "You can thank my dad for that."

Daniella said she has always had a strong support system from her family as well, with many of them having served in different branches of the military.

"My uncle Jeremiah did serve in the Army," she said. "And my cousin Chris graduated from West Point. We're, like, a military family. There are a lot of us."

Daniella got involved in JROTC her freshman year, and has now worked her way up to serving as the Mighty Brahma Battalion's commander. She plans to keep the ROTC program at HM King strong during her last year of high school.

"ROTC is such a friendly community," she said. "And, like, you can just enjoy yourself and joke around, and then there are other times we can be serious."

Daniella is preparing for life after graduating high school and is considering which military branch to join.

"I think she's on her way," said the head of H.M. King's ROTC Program Carlos Camacho. "If she can do all this on her own -- travel to Annapolis without her mommy and daddy — she can do anything."

Producers Carlos Adamez and Parker Gordon contributed to this story.

JROTC cadet Daniela O'Grady
JROTC cadet Daniela O'Grady (pictured on far right) waves to the camera.