Valeria Carrasquillo is a dancer, JROTC cadet captain, and an AP Scholar.

She started dancing when she was just three years old. Over the years, she has grown in experience and ambition. Her biggest accomplishments as a dancer thus far was to become a finalist in a dance competition and to be the lead dancer in a performance. Her inspiration for dancing is her desire to always do her best.

“For dance, my biggest inspiration is myself; I love to challenge myself in many different ways and as I do so, I make myself better everyday. I like to think of myself as an ambitious person, so whatever I do, I always make sure to try my hardest,” said junior Carrasquillo.

Although, Carrasquillo’s ambition doesn’t stop at dance. She also demonstrates her determination and leadership as the JROTC cadet captain. She is in her third year of JROTC at Steinbrenner and plans to continue ROTC into college. She has worked extremely hard to get to the position of cadet captain, and along the way has earned many achievements.

“My biggest accomplishments in JROTC was to command a squad and win third place at a district qualifier. Another achievement I’m really proud of was being the captain of the female raider team that made it to the state competition and won five trophies,” said Carrasquillo.

Dancing and JROTC have made a profound impact on Carrasquillo’s life, as she loves and continues to excel in both.

“Dancing really helps with my coordination, and JROTC really helps with how I present myself. I think that both of these activities combined have really helped me to become more confident in myself, and overall a better person,” said Carrasquillo.

Balancing JROTC, dance, and schoolwork is not an easy task for Carrasquillo, but she puts forth all her effort to make it work out.

“My schedule doesn’t really have any extra time that I can use for myself. I usually have JROTC practice after school for about an 1.5 hours for either Raiders or Drill practice. Afterwards, I go home to eat and change for my dance classes. Hours of dance depends per day, but I usually dance for about three hours straight. By the time I get home, it’s already dark and that is when I start my homework. It is pretty hard to balance everything, but I’ve somehow managed to make it work,” said Carrasquillo.

Carrasquillo’s unwavering ambition has lead her to success in dance, JROTC, and in school. She plans to continue excelling in these important aspects of her life for her remaining years at Steinbrenner and into her college years.

“My plan is to continue to dance as a hobby throughout my college years, but it won’t be my main focus. As for ROTC, I want to be a part of college ROTC, but I’m still not sure if it will happen. My biggest goal is to go to the University of Florida and join the Air Force or Army ROTC,” said Carrasquillo.



Gretchen Strunk // Staff Writer

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