By LILIAN MOHR, MIYAH SANBORN, and ALEXANDER MARQUIS
As a large majority of high school seniors across the country are in the midst of cramming to determine the universities they want to apply to and rushing to submit their college applications on time, at times it can be easy to overlook the rest of these young adults who are taking equally challenging and exciting paths towards their future.
Maddie Lee, a high school senior at Redlands East Valley is a perfect example of a student taking a unique path after graduating as she is entering the military.
Her journey to get to this decision may have been paved by the sacrifices of her family, as according to Lee, her “family is full of military veterans and active-duty members so they were kind of an inspiration as I am in a way following in their footsteps.”
Her path, so far, has been an interesting one. Her main interest in the career has been due to her ability “to do anything that a man could do in a [male] dominated career.”
With this, she has dedicated her time to exercise to ensure she can fulfill all the physical requirements that come with this career, as Lee says, “I played a high school sport keep me in shape as well as extracurricular activities outside of school like jiujitsu.”
She is one of the growing numbers of women in the military, which, according to a 2011 study by the Pew Research Center, has been growing since 1973. Lee commented on the role that gender plays in this field and states, “I would say any female in the military…” would be her role models “… because I know I am able to do anything that a man could do in a man dominated career.”
Although Lee now is set on her goal to join the military, she has not always known what she wanted her future to consist of. “I’ve always had a few ideas in my head but it wasn’t until my sophomore and junior year that I narrowed down what I wanted to do with the Army,” says Lee.
Not only has Lee realized that joining the military is her dream job, but also that it is best for her for a variety of other reasons. “With this job I am able to do what I love without having to pay for schooling,” says Lee. With this opportunity, Lee has a chance to fulfill her dreams and also not have to worry about the expense of schooling.
Maddie Lee poses for her senior portraits. As she looks towards finishing her senior year and graduation, she plans on pursuing a career in the military. (Photo Credit to Gina Lee)