Frederick Finds a Place in STEM


Courtesy of Slateon Frederick

Alumni Slateon Frederick, right, attends The Citadel in South Carolina. The Citadel is a military college, and he finished his first year at the school.

Kahleia Corpuz, Editor-in-Chief

Alumni Slateon Frederick continues to pursue an education in STEM post-high school graduation.

Frederick was a prominent student in Valley’s MSTEM program along with being a founding board member for Valley Viking Scholars. He was also one of Valley’s JROTC Battalion Executive Officers. Frederick is currently pursuing a major that ties back to both aspects of his MSTEM background.

“I’m currently double majoring at the moment in cyberoperations and computer science,” Frederick said. “I am taking those because they were the easiest to pair together and because they go hand and hand.”

He currently attends The Citadel, which is a military college in South Carolina. At The Citadel, he is a resource apprentice in their Department of Cyber. Quickly into his “knob,” or freshman year, Frederick used the skills he learned from Valley to help bridge the gap between him and his peers.

“Definitely knowing how to work with people that are different from you,” Frederick said when asked how Valley shaped him as a person. “For example, I was in a group with six other kids from completely different backgrounds, who didn’t know what the desert was like. Trying to bridge that gap is very difficult, but the payout is huge because then you just get like one well-oiled lethal machine of production.”

As a freshman, Frederick was able to be a part of a resource team and contract with the army officially. Looking ahead, he will be reporting to The Citadel three weeks early to help the next group of “knobs” get accustomed to the school. He will also be on another project for their Department of Cyber, making him a part of two resource teams. However, he could not do this without one of his greatest inspirations, his old magnet coordinator.

“Ms. Asa from Cashman Middle School,” Frederick said, “She was my magnet coordinator and my mentor in middle school, and I called her many times about college being super hard and why it was difficult.”

Frederick also considers his godsister as one of his biggest motivations and inspirations to continue on his path through military college.

“Alex Vaskenetz, she went to Texas A&M and broke her femur freshman year,” Frederick said. “She was able to keep her Navy Scholarship of 400,000 dollars and didn’t get medically disqualified. She had tremendous grades, got cadre for her second year of school, and kicked butt all the way around.”

When Frederick reflects on his time at Valley, the people who stood out the most to him were the teachers. Most notably, the JROTC instructors as well as Paul Heather, Kelly Pedrick, John Bence, Vince Bognot, and Dana Degmon, who were all instrumental in helping him through high school.

“Probably the thing I remember most about Valley is definitely the teachers,” Frederick said, “because they’re there to pick you up and set you up for success.”