BLACKSBURG — Service has been a way of life for Chanel Franklin of Vienna, Virginia – something that won’t stop after she graduates from Virginia Tech later this week.

Her family emphasized the importance of service early on, enrolling her in Girl Scouts and other volunteer activities regularly. She also saw its impact through her family’s military service, with both parents serving in the Army. “I’m from a military family, and not just my parents, but my grandparents and aunts and uncles too.”

She followed in their footsteps first by coming to Virginia Tech, where she knew she would join the Virginia Tech Corps of Cadets. With both parents in the Army, she originally planned to take that path, too; however, during a campus visit she met with the Air Force recruiters and decided to be an airman instead.

“With the Corps, there are always so many things you can be a part of. For instance, I was a cadre member and cadet recruiting officer for the Regiment and cadet recruiting officer for the Air Force Detachment. I’ve always had to be planning something and doing something,” Franklin said. Franklin also played with the Regimental Band, the Highty-Tighties and was part of the Robert Femoyer Service Squadron. She graduated from the Corps last spring, but while finishing her degree requirements this fall, she served on the Dean’s Leadership Council.

In addition, Franklin served as a representative of the Corps of Cadets Honor Committee and an associate justice for the university’s Undergraduate Honor System as well. While the Cadet Honor Code covers all aspects of a cadet’s life, the university’s Honor Code focuses on academic integrity for all students.

“Everyone comes here to get an education. The whole purpose of the Honor Code that we have here is to maintain academic integrity so your degree actually means something when you leave,” Franklin said. “If you are given the opportunity to do something like that, then you definitely do it. There’s no reason not to, as long as you agree that academic integrity is important.”

Franklin balanced her activities while majoring in mathematics in the College of Science. “With math, you have these concepts you are always building on ever since elementary school. They teach you how to add and it builds to more complicated things in middle and high school. It was a subject where, as long as you had a good foundation, and I had awesome math teachers growing up, you can prosper.”

One day, Franklin aspires to pursue a law degree. For now, she will continue her focus on service by commissioning in the Air Force. She will serve at least four years on active duty and four years as a reservist. “As long as I’m doing something for other people, whatever level that is, at the end of the day, I feel good,” Franklin said.

As graduation quickly approaches, she knows she will miss Virginia Tech. “The cliché thing to say is that you’ll miss the community, but I think it’s something I really will miss.”

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