Mirabella (‘20) stands second from the right
BMHS junior, Lauren Mirabella, has been a part of ROTC for the past three years. She hadn’t planned on joining ROTC until her brother, an ROTC alum, pushed her to step out of her comfort zone. And, step out of her comfort zone, she did.
Mirabella found herself in ROTC. Before, she was shy and wouldn’t talk to anyone aside from her closest friends. However, after joining, that all changed. She soon became comfortable with many people both inside and outside of the ROTC family; learning to open up to them. Her confidence and belief in herself grew, allowing her to build new relationships.
Mirabella said of her personal growth in the program, “It has brought my self confidence up. I am not as shy. I have learned how to speak up for myself and, when needed, help encourage other people to do the same for themselves. I can make decisions for myself without second guessing my capabilities.”
Mirabella went on to describe the ways in which she has changed, thanks to the program. “ROTC has taught me how to respect myself and to know that I can go out of my comfort zone and succeed, or fail and try again without feeling self conscious. I have learned not to worry about what other people think of me and just keep moving forward,” she shared.
Lauren Mirabella wishes to pursue a career based off of all the things she has learned, and continues to learn, in ROTC. But, this wasn’t always her plan. In fact, her previous interests consisted of space, and for a while, she aspired to study astronomy.
“If you asked me years ago what I wanted to do in the future, my answer couldn’t be farther than me saying I wanted to join the Navy. Even though I come from a military family, I never thought I’d join,” she shared.
Since ROTC, her interests have shifted from exploring space and the great mysteries it holds, to the Navy and its importance in keeping our nation safe. “It [ROTC] brought out an interest in me that I really enjoyed and am really good at. I want to join the navy because I want to protect the country and I love being on the water.”
Still growing from her experiences in this program, Mirabella continues to learn more about herself and how far she can go. Her final words of wisdom were, “I encourage everybody to step out of their comfort zone and give ROTC a chance.”