Summerville High School senior Nina Mojica is class president, cadet commander of the Navy JROTC, a member of the National Honor Society, Beta Club, school advisory council and French National Honor Society.
And on top of that, she still finds time to gather groups of friends for community service.
“It’s a lot more enjoyable when you have a huge group of people,” she said about volunteering at places such as the SPCA and local homeless shelters.
Nina was one of 11 Navy JROTC cadets in the nation to receive the Legion of Valor Bronze Cross for Achievement last month.
This prestigious award recognizes leadership, scholarship and community service. The Legion of Valor is the oldest congressionally chartered veterans organization in the country and “is made up of veterans from all branches of the military services who have received the Medal of Honor or their respective service’s highest award for gallantry.”
Nina was surprised with the award at the Sept. 24 Dorchester 2 school board meeting. Her mother, Michelle Mojica, said they told Nina she was accepting an award on behalf of the unit. She had no clue she would become part of the prestigious organization.
Col. Claude Davis, the senior naval instructor at Summerville High School, said it was only natural to nominate Nina for the award. She has been involved in Navy JROTC since her freshman year and was recently awarded the highest rank in the school.
“She’s been excelling her entire time. We can tell she’s headed for greatness,” he said.
When asked why she is so involved in school and in the community, Nina replied, “It’s important to strive for things that are bigger than yourself. You can surprise yourself with what you can accomplish.”
Michelle Mojica said she feels blessed to have a daughter such as Nina who is a great role model for her 12-year-old son, Antonio.
“Nina just tries so hard not to disappoint people. She expects a lot out of herself,” she said.
Mojica said she and her husband, David, could tell their daughter was independent since she was a baby.
“By no means is she a goody, goody,” she added with a laugh.
Nina plans to pursue a career as a neonatal intensive-care nurse and will be the first in her family to attend college. She said she is applying to the University of South Carolina, University of North Carolina, University of Florida and Georgia State University.
She is awaiting the results of a Navy nursing scholarship she applied for that would cover four years of tuition.
“Never give up, even when you face adversity. Continue to keep going even though someone doubts you. You’re the only person who can stop you,” Nina advises her peers.
Reach Jade McDuffie at 937-5560 or firstname.lastname@example.org.