POINT PLEASANT — Students have been on summer break for almost a month, and some members of the Class of 2016 are already trying to decide where life will take them after graduation next spring.
One local high school student is taking an extra step in planning by heading to workshops to see what life will be like at a military academy
Hunter White, a student at Point Pleasant High School, attended the United States Naval Academy’s Summer Seminar on May 30 in Annapolis, Md. Although this trip was White’s first chance to experience student life at the academy, he said he had already thought of applying.
“About my freshman year, I started looking into things after high school. College just seemed boring,” White said. “I just kept searching and eventually ran into military service academies and the naval academy was the closest one.”
White, the son of Sean and Becky White of Point Pleasant, said he had the chance to visit the U.S. Naval Academy through wrestling and said that was when he decided it was the place for him.
“I went to a wrestling camp there and I absolutely loved it. I mean, that’s where I belong,” White said. “All of the midshipmen are just so passionate and have so much pride in what they’re doing. All of them are patriotic.”
White said he went back to the academy to visit and eventually decided to apply for the summer seminar.
“I was honored to be accepted,” White said, “It was the best time of my life. There is nothing else I want to do than go to the naval academy.” Bravo company first squad
White said the seminar helped him understand what it is like to be a student at the USNA and gave him a chance to meet the professors.
“The workshops were to simulate, or give you an image of what a class at the academy is supposed to look like and what they’ll do,” White said. “You get to meet the professors, and all of the professors there are outstanding.”
White said he enjoyed getting to know what the naval academy is like while he is still a student. He also said it increased his interest in attending the academy.
“You’re part of something bigger than yourself, bigger than the state and possibly bigger than this country. You just have this sense of pride, patriotism and passion,” White said. “It’s an amazing experience. I would do it again if I could.”
White said he is working on his application to attend USNA. One major part of the process is getting a congressional recommendation.
“Your senator, congressman or congresswoman basically has to give you a thumbs-up to get into one of these academies,” White said. “It’s kind of like gathering up a team of sponsors. It’s important to get to know your local senator and congressmen.”
White said he hopes to be accepted into the academy and wants to do his part in serving his country.
“It’s not college. You may get an education. You may graduate with a piece of paper that says you’re qualified for marine engineering, but you’re still part of a bigger cause. You’re serving this country and that’s the great thing once you’re done with the academy. You serve five years in the military,” White said. “I almost get a sense that I’m home every time I’m there just because I run down the streets and I feel like I belong there.”
White also is attending a similar seminar at the United States Coast Guard Academy’s AIM program. Selection to AIM is based on leadership potential, personal character, academic and athletic achievement, plus his potential to contribute as a future Cadet.
White, who left for the AIM Program on Sunday, said he was looking at USCGA as an alternate choice after high school.