By LAYLA ABBAS
The Army’s Military Academy at West Point is famous for being one of the toughest academies to gain admission, with a slim acceptance margin of only 9%.
A Citrus Valley student beat the odds, and was one of the few students to be accepted. With his extraneous list of activities, high GPA, sports achievements and community involvement, Brennen Means was everything West Point was looking for.
Means first received a nomination from congressman, Paul Cook. After completing an interview and application, he was asked to attend a formal dinner by Cook himself. Means assumed this dinner was simply a congratulatory dinner, since he received the nomination.
At the dinner, held on Jan. 28, Cook explained that it was his distinct honor as congressman to nominate young men and women who wish to serve and be future leaders of our armed services in America. After his introduction, he asked Means and Arrowhead Christian Academy student, Skylar Cummings, who also received a nomination, to join him up on stage.
Cook praised Means and Cummings for going through this rigorous application process and dedicating time into it. He then proceeded to share that he talked to West Point admissions yesterday, and is honored to inform both men that they have received an official appointment to West Point.
Means was shocked to hear the news, and explains it as feeling unreal. About 100,000 people apply to West Point each year, of that 30,000 fill out the application, then 3,500 applications are deemed qualified, and from that only 1,400 receive acceptance. Means was one of the 1,400 to receive appointment.
Means remembers seeing his mother and father standing behind Cook, both with teary eyes. Means confesses that he too, was overwhelmed with gratification and found himself filled with emotions.
Means dream is to be a military officer and be a leader. Means wants to rank himself alongside leaders such as Grant, Sherman, and Eisenhower.
Means would like to thank his parents, Mr. Rooney, Mrs. Smith, Mrs. Farley and Mr. McGrath for their continued support and encouragement on his journey.
He hopes to become an influential military officer and is grateful that he now has the chance to pursue his dream.