Students’ painting portrays life choices

Published 8:58 am Friday, October 16, 2015

Bogalusa High School JROTC students recently completed a mural in the ROTC Building that depicts the “Road of Life.”

Cadet Sgt. Dontiaria Allen, Cadet Cpt. Jalin Lucas and Cadet 1SG Brianna Nicholson all worked on the mural, which took just four months to complete. All three students are juniors.

The right side of the mural is the bad side of life, or failures. Tornadoes, fire and cliffs suggest causes of failure. In daily life, failure is caused by dropping out of school, which leads to crime, homelessness, drugs, poverty, hopelessness and dependence.

On the opposite side of the mural are the seven steps toward success, which are the U.S. Army’s seven values on white signs. The grass on that side is bright green. Values include selflessness, integrity, personal courage, respect, loyalty, duty, and honor, which all lead to success on the mural.

The mural says with success comes family, power, intelligence, education, money, hope and independence.

A Bogalusa Lumberjack is depicted on the road of success passing a cliff or dropoff. It shows him reaching out to a female who has fallen by the road. On the horizon, the sun’s rays are depicted in bright colors.

“The white signs on the left side are Lumberjack values,” Lucas said. “They teach us to be better citizens. To be a leader, you have to put the welfare of others first before yourself.”

Lucas spoke about other values.

“You can’t be a leader without personal courage,” Lucas said. “Respect is my doing right by my people. Loyalty is a big one in that it applies to almost everything, including loyalty of country, school, battalion, family and loyalty to yourself.”

JROTC instructors are 1SG Jack Rogers and Lt. Col Gavin Guidry.

“It’s an honor to be in the JROTC program at Bogalusa High School,” Allen said. “It’s a big responsibility. It’s not about getting you ready for the military. They teach us to have respect, values and leadership.”

Lucas said he didn’t begin to draw until the seventh grade. He has been in the school’s talented art class for two years.

“I started with little cartoons. I would hang with my friends and we would draw and that was what kept me motivated,” Lucas said. “As I got older, I started taking it more seriously and drew things like still life and people.”

Lucas said he would like to eventually become someone who works with visual effects, or a graphics technician.

Allen said she has drawn since she was 2 years old. She has been in the talented art class since the fourth grade.

“I do plan to pursue art in college. I would like to pursue graphic design and architectural work, whether it’s in the military or not,” Allen said.