Student becomes finalist for the Cadet of the Year Award

Carol Kornworcel, News Editor

Posing for a photo, senior Annahlia Hernandez discusses being selected as a top ten finalist for the Cadet of the Year Award from the Air Force Association on March 28. Hernandez said that she didn’t know what to expect because no one from Plant had ever won the award before. (Photographed by Gracen Rivera)

Senior, Junior ROTC student and cadet Annahlia Hernandez became a top ten finalist for the Cadet of the Year Award from the Air Force Association March 28. 

“I didn’t know what I was getting myself into because no one from Plant who had been nominated had made it that far before,” Hernandez said. But then I went to the award ceremony where I didn’t get first place for the county but was placed as a top ten for the county. 

This award has three different groups: AFROTC, AFJROTC and Civil Air Patrol Squadron CadetsThe top three from each county then competes against other county in the state to determine the top ten.  

“I have worked very hard this year and have been very motivated and am very dedicated,” Hernandez said. This is definitely something I can add onto a job resume, but right now its just something I can brag about. For example, my family is very proud of me, especially my mom because Colonel wrote a letter of recommendation for me and she read it, which made her cry and very proud.” 

This is the first time that a student at Plant has made it this far in the competition.  

“In my 11 years of being at Plant, I had never heard of any cadets being selected as the top ten in Hillsborough County, so for Annahlia Hernandez to be selected makes me elated,” Lt. Col. Calvin Mason said. Also, at the award ceremony, not many schools principals attended to introduce the cadet, and Principal Bush attending and introducing Hernandez made it very special for her.”