Fort Drum soldiers mentor summer school students

Published: Jul. 20, 2022 at 3:03 PM EDT
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WATERTOWN, New York (WWNY) - Summer school students at Watertown’s Case Middle School got a mountain-tough lesson from a few mountain mentors.

It wasn’t your typical lesson in Mrs. Straughn’s science classroom this week.

For student Gabriella Doyle, it was a lesson in opportunity.

“Hearing about how they help each other out, and how they help others out and support for our country and everything,” she said.

Fort Drum soldiers and officers joined the school’s summer school program for its Career Exploration Month.

“I think a lot of the soldiers’ backstories may actually be similar to some of where our students would be coming from or what their visions are. I think it’s a nice tie between our school community and Fort Drum community,” said Rachael Straughn, teacher.

For Fort Drum, it’s part of the 10th Mountain Division’s Operation Mountain Mentor.

Through quizzes, games, and life stories, it gave students a glimpse of what the branch offers. And as the kids learned the Army has plenty of options with more than 200 different jobs to choose from.

Private Second Class Samuel Bonney, who’s 19 years old, was in middle school just six years ago.

“I look at them, and I think, ‘I wish I had this kind of knowledge when I was their age.’ I tried to always take advice from older people about what I should do in life. The biggest thing about this generation that’s growing up and about to go into their adult life, is they have so much potential,” he said.

Potential that students like Doyle have years to explore. However, she already has a good idea of what her future may hold.

“It just gave me an idea that I want to be in the Army and I want to join them,” she said.

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