RHS senior and NJROTC cadet Brianne Corwin (center) with her parents, Todd and Mary Anne Corwin. (Credit: Paul Squire)
Brianne Corwin said she had no idea why Navy Recruiting District Commander David Byrd called her in for a second interview late last year. Brianne, a cadet in the Riverhead High School Navy Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps, had applied for a scholarship and had already done one interview.
She figured this one was more paperwork. But after an hour-long discussion, she learned why she had been singled out.
“At the very end he said, ‘Oh yeah, I’ve chosen you for the scholarship,’ ” she said. “It was so fast it’s almost like you could have missed it … I was so surprised.”
In December, Brianne was handpicked by Commander Byrd to receive a four-year Navy ROTC Scholarship. The prestigious scholarship — earned through the ROTC’s Immediate Scholarship Reservation — covers the full cost of tuition at selected schools.
She was one of six cadets chosen out of thousands in the NJROTC district to win the scholarship. Brianne will commit to five years of service in the Navy through the scholarship program after she graduates.
Brianne said she joined the NJROTC as a freshman with a few of her friends. Back then, she said, she was much more shy. She credits the cadet program with helping her open up.
“It looked fun and they were having a good time,” she said. “It was a good opportunity …”
During her four years in the program, Brianne has been a leader within the Riverhead ROTC unit. She is now the Executive Officer of the unit and is the Commander of the Air Rifle and Personal Inspection Teams.
In addition to spending about eight hours each week practicing or spending time working with the NJROTC, Brianne is also an accomplished student and athlete. According to a news release, she is in the top six percent of her class.
She is a member of the Students Against Drunk Driving Club and the National Honor Society.
Brianne is also on three school varsity teams: golf, tennis and track and field. She also enjoys volunteering, working with the Rotary Club through the NJROTC, Timothy Hill Children’s Ranch and her local church — First Congregational Church of Riverhead — to help others.
Brianne said she’d like to pursue a major in material sciences, specifically to work with 3D printing. She’s still waiting to hear back from her first-choice college, the University of Florida, and recently applied to the Naval Academy as well.
In a statement, Brianne’s guidance counselor Chris Martin said, “I am thrilled for Brianne and very proud of her accomplishments. She really earned this. It is rare for me to see a student work so hard to achieve and improve her self.”