Sultana High School Air Force JROTC cadets Fred Safford and Raina Vallicella will be among 432 of the best and brightest in the world to attend the Aerospace & Technology Honors Camp this summer.


Safford, a junior, and Vallicella, a sophomore, were nominated by Lt. Col. Thomas Jahnke, the commander of the school's JROTC program. They were selected because of their college potential, leadership and drive. As a result, selection to the camp could help each land a college scholarship when they graduate from Sultana, he added.


Those bound for honors camp have four different times and locations to choose from. Although the duo selected the same camp, they will be in different flights, according to Col. Jahnke.


Several criteria were used in nominating Safford and Vallicella and the others who made the cut: academics, leadership, cadet response and personal character, motivation and commitment.


"Fred is applying to the Naval Academy and he's soon to become an Eagle Scout," Col. Jahnke said. "And Fred is an excellent student."


Vallicella, who also earns excellent grades, also impressed the commander with a variety of leadership and character traits.


"Raina has expressed a strong desire to go into the ROTC in college. A lot of this [the cadets' selection] is based on maturity and what they've told us they want to do. They rise above in terms of leadership. And these kids are committed to the military."


Safford and Vallicella initially were among 913 total cadets nominated for the honors camp. The ATHC board met in early February and narrowed the field down to 432 cadets who come from 318 different JROTC units. The number to attend represents the top one-half of one percent of the more than 110,000 Air Force JROTC cadets around the world, according to Col. Richard J. Ragaller, director of the Air Force Junior ROTC.


Although proud of his two cadets, Col. Jahnke isn't surprised by their selection.


"I can pick potential leaders in the first week of school," he said. "All our kids are good kids, but some have the potential to go onto bigger and better things."