To achieve greatness, perseverance, and unwavering determination are required!

My hands shaking, my legs were heavy. Repelling off towers, marching in the 100-degree heat, maneuvering through mud and lakes, JCLC camp was ferocious.

Growing up with diabetes, I always felt that I was weak compared to others. Like I could not accomplish what others could because of my disease. However, as I started my high school career, I was quickly able to show others that it does not hold me back, whether it be physical or academic.

One day during my sophomore year of high school, my JROTC instructor recommended me and other cadets at the school to participate in theCadet Leadership Camp at Camp Mccain in Mississippi. After explaining to us what would take place at the camp, I was excited and ready for it. I spent then ext few weeks preparing for the summer camp, learning how to read maps and coordinates, conditioning my body, etc. It was finally time!

For 7 days, I would have to endure the hardest physical obstacles in my life. I was prepared, but numerous individuals advised me to not attend. I remember going to the doctor to ask to receive a letter allowing me to attend. "Are you sure about this?", I remember him asking."Of course!", I said in the doctor's office. Even during the camp, I was constantly bombarded with questions of doubts by lieutenants, sergeants, and officers. "Are you sure you were allowed to attend this camp? Do you know what the cadets will have to do here? Are you sure you want to stay?"I know they were most likely worried about me with my condition, but I wanted to prove to myself and others that my disease does not hinder me.

Day after day, I accomplished the tasks assigned to me:running miles around the base, swimming, navigating through the woods.  However, near the middle of the week, my body had reached its limit and I almost passed out twice when completing the obstacle courses, marching in the pouring rain and blazing hot temperature, and repelling off towers. There were a few times when I wanted to quit, but I gritted my teeth and kept moving forward. At the end of the 7 days, not only did I accomplish the camp, but I was awarded the 2019 Camp Grizzly SergeantMajor Perseverance Award for exhibiting outstanding resilience and inner strength. My now unwavering confidence was a result of the hardships I faced that week and I never plan to lose that characteristic for as long as I live.The only price I paid was a few sprained ankles during the camp.

Jokes aside, to anyone who is reading this, my goal is that you learned one thing after reading- never let obstacles in your life hinder you from achieving success.