MATTHEW MCGEE: I really developed an interest in foreign languages I guess during high school when I decided to teach myself Russian.
JENNICA EGAN: I'm majoring in electrical and computer engineering. And that's exactly what I want to do in the Air Force.
MATTHEW MCGEE: My scholarship for Air Force is specifically for Chinese language. So here at Cornell I studied China and Asia Pacific studies, which involves taking a Chinese course every single semester.
JENNICA EGAN: When I found out that I could do an Air Force scholarship, I thought that would be a really sweet deal, especially with the price of Cornell.
MATTHEW MCGEE: The funding I get from the scholarship is really significant. It helps not just pay for my education, but it gives me a stipend. It takes a lot of the burden off my family to be able to pay for it.
JENNICA EGAN: So once I graduate, I owe the Air Force four years active, and then four years on the reserves.
MATTHEW MCGEE: They have a lot of benefits within the program. Like for example, this summer I got a scholarship to study abroad in China. And they have multiple internships in DC and abroad that you can take advantage of. Just having the opportunity to travel and meet so many different kinds of people from all over the country and all over the world is really a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
MATTHEW MCGEE: I'm an electrical engineer at Cornell. I obviously like a challenge. So ROTC has definitely challenged me in a different way, cause it does teach you the leadership aspects.
MATTHEW MCGEE: The officers and the non-commissioned officers that help run the program, they're very approachable. They're there to talk about their experience in the military. And if you have questions about what you want to do in the military, they're always there to help.
JENNICA EGAN: The leadership lab is where you learn a lot of the leadership components to joining the Air Force. It definitely makes you more comfortable dealing with peers, especially.
MATTHEW MCGEE: We see each other so much throughout the week that you really become a close-knit group. We've gone out several times to help the community and do other various activities within the Cornell community. And so that's been rewarding to help give back.
JENNICA EGAN: Yeah. Without ROTC, there'd be no Cornell. And the job security is nice afterwards.
MATTHEW MCGEE: Having a solid background in both the Chinese language and culture and government is going to have a great benefit for me personally in the Air Force, especially as an intelligence officer.
JENNICA EGAN: ROTC's not for everyone. It's got to be your decision. It can't be your parents' or your friends' or whatever.
MATTHEW MCGEE: Being able to give back to my country really means a lot.
I'm Matthew McGee. I'm a Cadet Fourth Class in the Air Force ROTC. And I'm a Cornellian.
JENNICA EGAN: My name is Jennica Egan. I'm a cadet. And I'm a Cornellian.
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Cadets Matt McGee '17 and Jennica Egan '15 describe the opportunities and experiences they have had as members of the Air Force ROTC at Cornell.