NO UNIFORM UNTIL INFORMED
Signed in as:
Chief Petty Officer Fuentes, formally served in our NJROTC program.
( 2020)This fall, I’ll be… at Army basic training in Fort Benning, GA.
(2021) And after that… studying computer science at UConn when I return next spring.
What impacted me most during high school was… For two years I was in the Medical Academy where I learned basic healthcare. Afterwards, I joined the NJROTC for two years. I took on two leadership roles, and this organization made me want to pursue being an officer in the armed services. I made friends, learned how to lead and improved my skills at working with others.
One of my biggest challenges so far was when… I immigrated here from another country in seventh grade, and it was hard. Cultural things were completely different and I didn’t know the language. I had a goal to learn the language as quickly as possible and I also read every day and pushed myself to learn conversational English so I could communicate clearly.
I stayed sane during quarantine by… I knew I was shipping out for three months of army basic training in July followed by three more months of AIT (infantry training), so I worked out every day, running or strength training. I was also still responsible for my platoon, so I supported those 33 people by reaching out continuously to make sure they were okay. For fun, I experimented with digital art and Scratchboard.
This year I learned that… Things can always change, so don’t get too comfortable. Be mentally prepared when things don’t go your way.
I’m most proud of… being able to adapt so quickly to the new environment when I moved here.
My biggest life goal is… no one in my immediate family has graduated from college in the U.S., so I want to be the first and want to inspire my own kids to do the same. I’m also the first in my family to join the U.S. military.
My role model is… My Senior Naval Science Instructor, in charge of the NJROTC. He was an officer in the Marine Corps and overcame a difficult life. He knows how to talk to people and gives great advice.
My personal motto is… Be the best at what you do, keep in mind that things can always be worse, and God has a plan for you so just hang in there and keep going.
The biggest dilemma facing today’s teens is… not succumbing to peer pressure.
My favorite subject is… science. There’s always something new to learn.
People may be surprised to learn that I… like art and it’s my creative outlet.
WHY DANIEL IS A TEEN TO WATCH
Cadet Platoon Commander and Color Guard Commander for NJROTC
Top 12 percent of his class
First in his family to attend college
Wants to become an officer in the armed services
During the Covid-19 pandemic, Daniel and other members of his AP computer science class developed a website to help people locate goods at various stores.