Freshman nursing major Rachel Friedman was a high school student in the small town of Lindsborg, Kan., when she began looking into opportunities offered by college ROTC programs across the country. Comparing scholarship offers and university programs, she had a tough decision to make.
But when she got a call from a PSU recruiter, the university she'd previously not considered shined under a new light.
"I came for a visit and learned about the phenomenal ROTC program here," Friedman said. "I was almost positive I wanted to go somewhere else until I heard about this program, and it's been the best decision I've made."
With a 3.6 GPA, Friedman received a scholarship worth near $50,000 to cover all her college expenses for four years. Guaranteed a spot in the nursing program when she finishes her general education courses, she is exploring the exciting world of ROTC, competing successfully against large universities with her Ranger Challenge team and receiving the Daughters of American Revolutions Award this spring.
"I didn't do junior ROTC in school, so I was terrified not knowing what this would be like," she said. "I'd never even shot a gun before, and here I am assembling and disassembling M16s for competition. It has really pushed me physically."
With a goal of performing medical evacuation work with the Army and one day settling into a civilian medical career, Friedman is excited about the opportunities ahead - and openly grateful for the guidance and support she's found at PSU.
"If it weren't for ROTC, I would be working a lot and would have taken out loans. This allows me to focus on school and not be stressed out about a job," she said. "When you have someone pushing you to do well and make good decisions, it makes college life easier. They want you do be a well-rounded and successful individual. If nothing else, you come away as a more responsible, respectful person with good character."