Oasis cadet receives JROTC Superintendent’s Award
A Cape Coral graduate received a special honor last week as a Lee County JROTC member.
Cadet Col. Branden Pearson, 18, who recently graduated from Oasis High School, was presented on May 3 with the Lee County JROTC Superintendent’s Award at the annual Lee County JROTC Awards Ceremony, which took place at Florida SouthWestern State College’s Suncoast Credit Union Arena.
The award is given to the graduating senior with the highest grade point average for the year.
A member of Oasis High’s JROTC Shark Battalion, Pearson graduated with a 5.9 GPA.
“It was an awesome experience,” he said of receiving the honor.
Lee County Superintendent Greg Adkins presented Pearson with a plaque.
“I wasn’t actually aware I was getting it until that evening,” he said.
Pearson called it “an amazing award to earn.”
“It shows how all of my hard work has paid off,” he said.
It is the first time the recognition has been awarded to a city charter student.
“This is the first time a Cape Coral Charter School student has ever received the award,” Pearson said.
Oasis High has participated in Lee County’s JROTC for the past seven years.
“I think it kind of shows the caliber of the education and the caliber of the teachers I’ve had,” he said.
Jacquelin Collins, interim superintendent for the charter system, commented on the award.
“This is the first time a student at Oasis High School has been recognized for this award, and we are honored and proud,” she said in a statement.
“Branden Pearson is truly a remarkable student,” Collins added. “We wish him much success in the future.”
The highest ranking cadet in the Shark Battalion, Pearson was presented with the Legion of Valor Bronze Cross for Achievement in September during a ceremony at Oasis High. He was only one of 48 students nationwide – and one of two students in Florida – to be awarded the medal for the year.
The Legion of Valor Bronze Cross for Achievement is awarded to high school seniors based on scholastic achievement, leadership potential and a cadet’s performance over the three years.
In addition to JROTC, Pearson was a Key Club member and had been a Model United Nations member. He was the class president his junior year and played on the varsity football team.
Pearson was also a member of Oasis High’s JROTC Academic Team when it came in first place in Florida and ninth place nationwide in an annual competition he described as similar to a “quiz bowl.”
Asked about his future, Pearson has been accepted by the University of Florida for the fall. He plans to major in computer science, with a double minor in business administration and in public leadership.
“I plan on enrolling in the Navy ROTC program,” Pearson said.
Cape Coral City Councilmember Jessica Cosden, who also acts as the Cape Coral Charter School Authority chair, lauded Pearson’s effort
“This award is impressive because it’s a first for Oasis High School. I am proud of everything Branden has accomplished, and I wish him continued success in college and beyond,” she said.
Adkins could not be reached for comment on the award.
Editor’s Note: This story has been updated to include quotes that came in after our deadline for print.