By David Dennis, Seneca College Journalism
Marie Gomez is a Second Lieutenant (2Lt) with the Canadian Military and is also one of the Cadet Instructor Cadre's with her branch of the Cadet Program run by Cadets Canada. This program is instructed by members of the military and is in association with its three branches. This includes the Army, the Air Force, and the Navy.
2Lt. Gomez was thirteen years old when she joined the cadet program. She says that she was looking for something to do with her spare time. She decided to join the cadet program because her family didn't have a lot of money, so playing a sport or doing other after school activities was financially difficult. Her only regret was that she didn't join the program sooner. She says "I was challenged to step out of my comfort zone and do things that I hadn't done. The program gave me opportunities to go beyond what was offered to me in my situation"
"More opportunities to become a leader"
She talked about how she put in work and how the people that worked at the cadet program continued to believe in her, which helped to motivate her to work hard and do the best she could do. "I was able to get more opportunities to become a leader and contributor in my community. I can honestly say the program changed my life in such a positive way. I have an incredible respect for the Canadian Forces and just a love for Canada because they invested in me" says" 2Lt. Gomez
As a result of the hard work, she had the privilege to be given an award by Prince Harry in recognition for all that she had done in the Cadet program, and working with the cadets
2Lt. Gomez wanted to give back to her community so she decided to stay after her time was up as a cadet and become a Cadet Instructor Cadre. The Cadet Instructor Cadre is a branch that is made up of Canadian Forces officers whose duty is to oversee the safety, the administration and training of Royal Canadian Sea, Army and Air Cadets. It makes up the largest group of officers within the Canadian Forces. 2Lt. Gomez believes that other kids should have the same opportunity that she had and she wants to help them reach their full potential in terms of leadership and branching out of their own comfort zones.
The Royal Canadian Legion uses the Cadets from this program to help them distribute poppies every year for Remembrance Day. Kids between the ages of 12-18 are able to attend this program for free, which helps with children that come from low income families. In today's economy it is becoming increasingly difficult for parents to find places to sent their children that is affordable for them.
This is why the Cadet program is the perfect option for parents that are looking for after school activities for their children. So if you are looking for a place to learn leadership skills and to be able to change your life in a positive way look no further than the Cadet program.
For more information click the link to the YouTube video below.