“In college, I had become interested in the Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC). It was a way to stay in school and get a small stipend. I also liked the idea of serving my country, and the ROTC seemed a good way to do it. I started in ROTC while attending City College of New York (CUNY) in 1954. The college was free, but I had to work to support myself. With ROTC, I received a $25 monthly stipend, which was helpful.”
This quote is significant because it provides insight into Colin Powell’s early experiences and motivations. We learn that he was a hard-working student who had to support himself while attending CUNY, a school that was free at the time but required a significant commitment of time and effort. Powell’s participation in the ROTC program gave him a small stipend, which helped him financially and allowed him to pursue his educational goals. Additionally, his interest in serving his country is evident in his decision to join ROTC, which foreshadows his later career in the military. This quote reveals Powell’s dedication to his education and his commitment to serving his country, two themes that are prominent throughout his life and career.