3 St. Croix students receive appointments, scholarships to U.S. military academies

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ST. CROIX - Three Good Hope Country Day School seniors were recognized on Friday for receiving fully qualified offers of appointment to U.S. military academies, with scholarships valued at about $400,000 each.

Alex Lewit, Joseph Lanclos and Harry Hoffman were surrounded by family, school staff and friends to celebrate the accomplishment and honor of the young men being granted the congressional nominations and earning an appointment to the Class of 2018 at a U.S. military academy.

Lanclos will be heading to the Air Force Academy Prep School in Colorado Springs, Colo.; Lewit has been appointed to the Air Force Academy, also in Colorado Springs; and Hoffman is heading to the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy in Kings Point, N.Y.

Lanclos said he is excited by the appointment, and he knew from a very young age he wanted to be in the Air Force and become a pilot, just like his dad.

"This has always been something that I wanted to do, and the funding will help out my family while I get the experience that I need to fall into my dreams and set myself up for a great future," he said.

The Air Force Academy Prep School is a 10-month rigorous academic program designed to transition students from a high school academic environment to the world-class collegiate academic program at the Air Force Academy. Upon successful completion, the cadet will earn a full appointment to the Air Force Academy.

Lewit will be heading directly to the Air Force Academy and said he realizes the challenge ahead, but he already has started pushing himself to excel.

"I realize just how difficult it is to get into the program and how hard I am going to have to work to do well," he said.

"But I am ready to push and push hard so that my dreams can be realized."

Lewit said he plans to follow a career path related to science research, but he also is looking forward to being able to join the swim team.

Hoffman said that seven years ago, during a safe boating week activity in Frederiksted, he was able to board the Sector San Juan cutter and he felt then that he wanted to join the Coast Guard.

The U.S. Coast Guard Academy does not require a nomination; however, V.I. Delegate to Congress Donna Christensen nominated Hoffman for the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy.

He said he plans to pursue the career path to become a naval architect and this is a great way to do it.

To become eligible for a nomination to the service academies, applicants must live in the territory, be at least 17 years old and not older than 23, unmarried, not pregnant and have no dependents. They must also have a SAT score of 600 or more for verbal and math.

Graduates of the academies receive a bachelor of science degree from a choice of fields and the military rank of second lieutenant or ensign and must serve a minimum term of duty.

- Contact reporter Fiona Stokes at 714-9149 or email fstokes@dailynews.vi.

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