KANSAS CITY, Kan. -- A Washington High School junior in ROTC was just named "Cadet of the Year" for the state of Kansas.
Cadet Capt. Angel Bailey is the first person in her school's history to earn that distinction.
"I want to be in the Air Force because I want to serve my country, protect our country, protect our people, serve our people," Bailey said. "It's a passion of mine because I just want to help others."
Bailey dreams of the day she officially joins the military.
"I want to be a pilot. I want to fly," she said.
She plans to be a pilot in the Air Force, saying there's nothing else she'd rather do.
"We have a core value that is service before self, and I take that more seriously than I do anything else," the KCK teen said.
Last year, Bailey was named "Overall Cadet of the Year" at Washington High School.
This year, she went a step further and was named "Kansas Cadet of the Year" in ROTC. She 's the first person in her school's history to do so.
She's won numerous awards for the teams she commands and spends her spare time mentoring classmates who aspire to achieve similar goals on the drill team.
"A really great cadet," her instructor, Lt. Col. Patrick McCormack, said of the 17-year-old.
McCormack calls her driven, saying she stands out as a leader.
"Our program is designed to build leaders and to develop character, and she really epitomizes what our program is about,” McCormack said.
But if you ask her: "I don't see myself as anything above the ordinary. I'm just doing what I was meant to do," Bailey said.
She said she gets her drive from her dad who died in 2015. He's the one that pushes her to excellence.
Besides ROTC work, the 17-year-old is an avid volunteer and a catcher on her school's softball team.
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