FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) – Ashley Menendez is smart and dedicated. The Southwest High School senior is student body president, and a part of just about every club on campus (choir, track, math and science club, literary criticism club, and more). She is also one of the students picked to get an ROTC Marine Corps scholarship.

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Menendez received a full-ride to college from the reserve officer’s training corps.

Call it a legacy — her mother and father were both in the Marine Corps. “She definitely wants me to pursue the Marine Corps, the security it will give me,” Menendez said. “Of course, he likes it because the Marine Corps has given him so many opportunities.”

“They all see me as like, a Marine Corps brat,” Menendez said about her friends.

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After her sister died from cancer, Menendez started to push herself to achieve even more. “You think of life as just being okay, whatever, like, just go with the flow,” Menendez said. “After she passed, it helped me realize that life is really too short.”

Now, Menendez is seizing the day by starting her military career early. “I just like the structure and the fact that you can work your way up,” said the high schooler. “It gives you a sense of accomplishment.”

Other ROTC scholarship recipients include Chad Schutz and Brendan Gould. Watch the video above to see their full interview with CBS 11 News.

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