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The Student News Site of Rock Ridge High School


The Student News Site of Rock Ridge High School


The Student News Site of Rock Ridge High School


A Salute To Seniors: Signing To Their Military Journey

On the highly anticipated senior decision day, seniors who plan to go to the military after high school were spotlighted during activity block to showcase their future plans.
Shaila Patel
Seniors Elena Frisby, Jacobo Borgen, and Zalaan Khan (from left to right) along with their recruiters gather to commemorate their signing. “The military has great benefits, and I grew up in a military-style household, so I just felt that it was only right,” Borgen said. “I like to think of myself as disciplined and hardworking.”

On Friday, May 3, seniors, recruiters, teachers, friends, and family gathered to celebrate the signing ceremony of students planning on entering the military. Seniors Jacobo Borgen, Elena Frisby, and Zalaan Khan mingled and celebrated their future plans with those who helped them get there. 

From studying and completing the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB) testing to preparing themselves for the tough journey ahead, the senior military signing day signified the end of one story and the beginning of a bright future ahead as these seniors close out their final school year.

Senior Jaden Arse, who also plans to join the military post-high school, developed his interest through small interactions with strangers and family ties. “I talk to people, for example, I work at a restaurant, and if I see a Navy Federal [Credit] Union [card] or someone gives me a USAA card, and I know their former military, then I’ll ask them about it, so that’s kind of where I get some of my information from,” Arse said. “My stepdad was also in the Marines.” 

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Each student has their own journey they are starting and their own story to share. “I would just say [talking to] your recruiter is a big part of [the recruitment experience]; they help you out a lot,” Arse said. 

Sitwat Mian

Senior Elena Frisby has signed on to join the Coast Guard. 

Q: When did you know you wanted to join the military?

A: Well I’ve known since at least fifth grade, because that is when my brother signed into the Coast Guard. I always thought he was really cool so I thought maybe I should do it [as well]. As I grew up I realized that this was the way I wanted to start my future.

Q: What have you done to prepare yourself for the process of joining the Coast Guard?

A: It’s definitely a lot of physical training, but the biggest thing for me was mentally preparing myself, because it kind of creeps up on you more than you know, but I’ve always prepared to start thinking about  [all the big things].

Sitwat Mian

Senior Zalaan Khan has signed on to join the Marine Corps.

Q: What made you decide that you wanted to go into the military?

A: First of all, honestly, the US, in general, has given so much to me, and so I have to give something back. So, in my skill set which is like just training and all of that, I decided to join the Marine Corps. Plus, they were the first ones to reach out to me. That’s why. 

Q: What was the process like?

A: It was pretty simple for me. First, they interviewed me to see if I was a good candidate for the Marine Corps. Then, I had to go through screening, medicals, then training, and then I joined.

Q: Are you excited for this next chapter of your life?

A: Yes. Definitely.

Shaila Patel

Senior Jacobo Borgen has signed on to join the Air Force.

Q: What do you plan to do in the Air Force?

A: I am going on active duty, and the job I will pick is in the cyber and intel field.

Q: What was the process like signing in?

A: It was a smooth process for me. It definitely took a while to decide because it’s definitely a big step, but I had friends, and family helping me out and supporting me all throughout, so I think I made the right choice.

Q: What are your plans after you finish?

A: I plan to go to school, and try to get a good job. Definitely plan on furthering my education afterward.

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About the Contributors
Shaila Patel
Shaila Patel, Website Coordinator
Shaila Patel is a senior in her second year on the newspaper staff, fueled by her strong sense of curiosity. Since a young age, Patel has been aiding people close to her. Whether it be through PEER or through daily actions, she is passionate about helping strangers, close friends, and family who are struggling in any way, but especially with any mental health concerns. Caring is a big part of who she is. Patel is also an avid dancer. She believes that dance is a form of art, especially the Indian classical dance she practices, Bharatanatyam. Patel sees it as a useful tool for many to convey stories, culture, who people are, and more. 
Riya Cherukuri
Riya Cherukuri, Staff Writer
Riya Cherukuri is a sophomore and a first year staffer on The Blaze. In her free time, Cherukuri enjoys baking desserts. Cherukuri also spends her time playing softball for Rock Ridge. She was motivated to play because her brother played baseball, so being on the field felt just right. Cherukuri hopes to continue playing in college.
Sitwat Mian
Sitwat Mian, Graphic Editor
Sitwat is a junior, and the Graphics Editor for the Newspaper. She enjoys art and is excited to create graphics for the staff this year. When she’s not frantically worrying about school, you can find her listening to music, spending time with her family, and eating. She is probably the most unathletic person you will ever meet, and has the memory and attention span of an Ostrich. Ultimately, Sitwat hopes for another creative and successful year in Newspaper.
Hylay Assefa
Hylay Assefa, Staff Writer
Hylay Assefa is a junior at Rock Ridge High School and is in his third year on “The Blaze'' staff. He primarily joined the staff due to his passion for reporting and writing news stories. Assefa, who also currently plays soccer for the Rock Ridge soccer team, coaches Loudoun One Soccer for youth boys throughout his community. As a fan of a wide variety of music genres, such as rap and R&B, Assefa’s favorite musical artists include “The Weeknd,” and “Destroy Lonely.” Assefa looks forward to the upcoming Rock Ridge soccer season and prom later this year.

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