One in 5000: A Day in the Life of Lovette Choi

The sky was still dark as the sun barely made an appearance on the horizon. Everyone in the house was still sound asleep. Everyone but one. Lovette Choi was already up at the crack of dawn, getting dressed in her uniform and making sure everything was in the right place and order. Her hair had to be perfectly tied up in a bun and her credentials had to stand at a perfect angle. She arrived at school alongside her fellow cadets, ready for another day.

Choi is a sophomore at Francis Lewis High School and a cadet of JROTC, a rigorous military-like program.  She first became interested in the program during her last year of middle school when her peers were excited about their high school paths, except for her. Still confused and nervous, Choi was unclear about what she planned to do for the next four years.

“I remember sitting down on the bleachers during freshmen orientation and watching the drill team perform,” Choi said. “Everything was so coordinated and precise that I felt inspired. I wanted to be like one of those cadets and the first and only thing I signed up for that day was JROTC.”

During her freshman year, she was granted the privilege to compete in the Nationals, despite the fact that the majority of the cadets who went were upperclassmen. Through this trip, she was able to make exciting memories and as well learn more about herself.

“It was such a privilege to attend Nationals as a freshman in order to get the experience at such an early age,” Choi said. “I was able to get closer to my team as well as improve my skills as a member of the Armed Drill team. I think participating in this event will help me become a better member in the future.”

According to Choi, JROTC has taught her life long skills and lessons that she can apply to many facets of her life.

“Leadership, discipline, and responsibility are the three lessons [I learned] from joining JROTC,” Choi said. “Having the ability to lead people and gaining obedience is the most important things I learned from high school and it has helped me so much academically and in my social life as well.”

While juggling all of her responsibilities at school, Choi still manages to have fun and form memorable friendships and experiences with the people she meets.

“I first joined JROTC without any idea of what I was going to be experiencing. Despite the fact that there are times where I struggle and have trouble performing a certain task, the new friends and people I have met helped me along the way,” Choi said. “I learned leadership skills and what it takes to lead a group of people in the right direction, which makes me a stronger person.”

Over 5000 people – including students, teachers, staff, and administrators – are part of the Francis Lewis High School community. One in 5000 is a series that delves into the individual stories of the people in our community.