Colonel Robert Hester, the leader of the district’s Junior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (JROTC) and Leadership programs, has won the Willard Garvey Crime Prevention Citizen Activist of the Year Award from the Wichita Crime Commission.
The award honors non-law enforcement members of the community who have actively worked to improve the quality of life and safety in the community through programs or projects that proactively strive to prevent crime.
Colonel Hester, who served in the Army for 27 years and served in Vietnam and Korea, has led the JROTC and Leadership program for more than 25 years.
The program serves more 2,400 students in 17 middle and high school programs. Col. Hester said participants tend to have a higher graduation rate, higher grade point average, and better attendance than their peers.
Colonel Hester, who credits much of the success of the program to the school-based instructors, said that his favorite part of his job is working with the cadets.
“I’m really impressed with our cadets,” said Colonel Hester. “I like seeing them progress through the program from middle to high school. We teach them how to effectively use what they’ve learned in their core classes to help them become successful and become good citizens.”