Summer Creek High School JROTC Cadet Major Amanda Abarca is the only Texas high school student to be honored with a scholarship from the National Veteran Business Development Council. Abarca is pictured with Major Rick Parker, senior army instructor at Summer Creek High School. 

Amanda Abarca, a Summer Creek High School Class of 2021 graduate and commander of Summer Creek’s JROTC program, was selected as the lone Texas finalist for a scholarship from the National Veteran Business Development Council (NVBDC). Only one student is selected from each state.

Abarca was chosen based on her JROTC participation, service to the community, educational background, and family history of military service. 

Major Rick Parker, Summer Creek High School senior army instructor and a retired U.S. Army major, nominated Abarca because she was a top senior in Summer Creek’s JROTC program.

“Amanda lives by the fundamental principles of the U.S. Army,” Parker said. “She completed over 4,000 community service hours during her high school career, attended basic training in summer 2020, and is serving in the U.S. Army Reserves.”

As a former captain in the U.S. Air Force, Abarca’s grandfather was a big influence on her decision to pursue JROTC at Summer Creek High School. JROTC was her way to continue her family’s mission of service.

“I am grateful that I chose JROTC as one of my electives because I wanted to find a way to help my community,” Abarca said. “JROTC has made me into a stronger and more independent person.”

While serving in the JROTC, Abarca has earned a list of awards such as the Bulldog Battalion Staff Award, Military Order of the Purple Heart Medal, Superior Cadet Medal and a U.S. Army Recruiting Command Medal, to name a few.

Abarca managed the Bulldog Community Food Market at Summer Creek High School, volunteered for district and school events and events around the community. She also served as executive officer of the Summer Creek High School Battalion during her junior year.

Born in Costa Rica, Abarca completed first grade overseas before moving with her family to the United States when she was eight years old. In Humble ISD, she attended Oak Forest Elementary, Lakeshore Elementary and Woodcreek Middle School prior to Summer Creek High School.

In addition to JROTC, Abarca participated on the Summer Creek High School varsity cross-country team. She plans to attend the University of Texas at San Antonio in the fall where she will major in nursing. Abarca’s college plans also include participating in the ROTC program.

The NVBDC scholarship provides a unique opportunity for veterans to connect with the younger generation. “An important part of the program is the idea of providing a platform for veterans to show our youth the value of service to our country and each other,” said Jesse Villarreal, coordinator for NVBDC’s Texas State Program. 

NVBDC has established programs in all 50 states to carry out its mission of communicating the importance of service to country and community while promoting economic opportunities for veterans.

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