Zoe Spanos was named Steinbrenner’s Cadet of the Year and was a top 10 finalist in Hillsborough County. Her achievements and skill have stood out among the rest of the members of the Junior Reserves Officers’ Training Corps (JROTC). Three years of dedication have allowed her to see the program benefitting the lives of young adults and now she has been recognized for her impact on the program.  

“I felt overwhelmingly honored,” said Spanos. “I’ve looked up to prior cadets in the program and now I have done the same for others.” 

Going beyond serving others, Spanos is also an accomplished and well-rounded student. Her abilities in the classroom amped up her qualification for this award and further set her apart from her peers. 

“I am ranked in the top 7 percent of my class and my leadership abilities along with communication skills helped me stand out this year,” said Spanos. 

Spanos credits JROTC with helping her develop many crucial life skills that have led her to stand out as a cadet. She believes that she is not alone in acquiring important traits and improving existing ones that will contribute to future successes. 

“It has inspired me to be more hard working, think ahead in life and helped my relationships through bettering my communication skills,” said Spanos. “I know many cadets, including myself, that have had their lives immensely impacted by this program.” 

Well deservingly, Spanos was awarded with a highly honorable title and continues to be inspired and inspire others through the JROTC program. An encouraging and welcoming environment is where she has been glad to have found herself for her time in high school. 

“To be successful, you have to be willing to be yourself, work hard and fail many times in order to become a better student, leader and person,” said Spanos. “Even though I wasn’t exactly sure where to find my place in high school, as soon as I joined, I could tell it was a place I, or anyone, could belong.” 

Kaitlyn Estrada // Staff Writer 

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