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ROTC Senior is Reaching for the Stars
Vanessa Baudler, a senior nursing major at Southeast, knows the importance of reaching for the stars. As an active leader on campus as commander of the Southeast Air Force ROTC, she will be helping to prepare other students for the skies as well.
Vanessa, originally from Chesterfield, Mo., has the position of group commander of the AFROTC. She says her role with the cadets is to make a strong and positive impact through educating these members.
“As Group Commander, I hold many responsibilities in the way in which the detachment works together as a whole,” Vanessa says. “My main responsibility is to educate my fellow cadets on the three core values of the U.S. Air Force: 1) Integrity first, 2) Service before self, and 3) Excellence in all we do. I also educate the cadets on customs and courtesies in the U.S. Air Force and ways to prepare them for the expectations of active duty officers.”
Another key to Vanessa’s success is her ability to keep the lines of communication open in Detachment 205.
“Communication is so important today. It is the main way to understand, learn and perform with one another,” she says. “It is my duty to serve my country and my people by performing with my best intentions for my country and my fellow cadets here at Southeast. Under new command in the fall, I hope to bring out the best in each cadet within the detachment and recruit more students to participate in the AFROTC here.”
The AFROTC is involved in many activities on and off campus as a detachment, including participating in the Southeast Homecoming parade and the Veteran’s Day parade in Jackson. The AFROTC color guard performs at Southeast sporting events and program members volunteer at concession stands throughout the year. Through this group, Vanessa also has participated in several intramural sports on campus including soccer, volleyball and softball.
Her activities in college are varied. She works as a promotional model for John Robert Powers Model and Acting Agency, going to various Wal-Mart stores and promoting new products in the health and beauty aids arena. Another role she plays is that of big sister in the Big Brothers and Big Sisters of America, a national organization that helps children reach their potential through professionally supported one-to-one relationships, serving as mentors for all children who need and want them. Vanessa has a “little sister” with whom she meets, mentors and has a good time.
“It’s really fun,” Vanessa says. “I have a little sister through this organization, and it lets her get out of the house and gives her someone to talk to and play with.”
Vanessa has a simple message to pass on to other students, especially those just starting college.
“Get involved – don’t be scared! Participate in all you can and have fun,” she says. “It is important to do everything you can, so you can’t look back and have any regrets.”
With the wide variety of activities Vanessa is involved in, she will have no regrets.