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Cherry Sharma is looking forward to serving as Battalion Executive for the Hollywood Hills High School Entrepreneur, Leadership and Military Academy. A junior in the fall, she is looking forward to the leadership opportunity.
“I will be the chief of staff and involved in supervising and coordinating activities,” Sharma said. “I love being a part of the Academy.”
In reality, the Military Academy is a school within a school. A magnet program, students must apply to get in and the Academy is working to reach beyond being only a military institution. The name has been changed to Entrepreneur, Leadership and Military Academy, which reflects what the program is: More about high level leadership and less about boot-camp-style military training.
“I get calls from parents asking if their son or daughter can get in because they want us to straighten the young person out. That is not what we are doing. We are not a boot camp. We are a magnet school with very high standards,” said Manuel Valdez, the Army instructor. As a veteran of the U.S. Army, Valdez served as a boot camp instructor.
“We expect students to work hard in academic classes. Our students take demanding classes during the whole four years they are in the Academy. We want our students to learn to think like high level leaders,” said Valdez.
Many of the Academy’s graduates will go on to prestigious universities to prepare for success in professions such as business, law, medicine and emerging fields.