TROY — Cassandra Roaché is one of only two, the proud and always faithful, Young Marines who won a prestigious scholarship award that includes a trip overseas to visit iconic World War II sites.
The Troy High School student is one of two Young Marines to be awarded the Jimmy Trimble National Scholarship by the Young Marine National Headquarters in Washington, D.C. The scholarship is presented in memory of Trimble who was killed in action in World War II on Iwo Jima. It is awarded annually to an outstanding male and female Young Marine.
The Young Marine organization is the United States Marine Corps Drug Demand Reduction program for youth and the Marine Corps official youth program.
Roaché, 17, of Troy, said she became interested in joining the Young Marine program after the school’s annual Washington, D.C. trip with her sixth-grade class.
“We went there and saw all these military exercises and saw them march around. I thought that was really cool. I want to do that,” she said. “So I asked (now retired) Mrs. (Theresa) Beltz and she said, ‘You could join the Young Marines!’ And I said ‘OK, what’s that?’”
Roaché found the Miami Valley chapter of the Young Marines program in Huber Heights, joined the organization and graduated from a 13-week boot camp in seventh grade.
“Two things the Young Marines has taught me is time management and listening to other people. The reason I say that is not a lot of people listen to what others have to say, so there’s a lot of conflict between groups,” she shared. “Sometimes people misunderstand or they hear what they want to hear and not necessarily what they need to hear. In Young Marines, you can’t really do that because the unit will fall apart if we don’t listen to each other.”
Roaché, the daughter of Maria Keyser and Mark Roaché, has participated in the national senior leadership program as well as many other community service activities through her involvement with the Young Marines program.
Roaché will receive a $1,000 scholarship and an all-expenses paid trip to Guam and Iwo Jima. On Nov. 4, Roaché will attend the American Veteran’s Center Banquet in Washington, D.C. to personally receive the scholarship.
Staff Sergeant Roaché won the award with her essay about a World War II Marine and how that Marine has influenced her. Roaché wrote about Private Lucille McClarren, the first officially enlisted woman in the Marine Corps.
Roaché said she plans to pursue music performance in college. Following her collegiate career, she said she hopes to audition for the President’s Marine Corp Band.
At Troy High School, Roaché is involved in marching band, pep band, wind ensemble, orchestra, Dayton Philharmonic Youth Orchestra, cross country and track and field.
Reach Melanie Yingst at [email protected] or follow her on Twitter @Troydailynews