Service Academy Nominations


Josseline Manzanares

This year Phoenix Military Academy had the biggest class of nominations, which  helps students get one step closer towards their goal of getting into service academies. Seniors Destiny Ortega, Jazzlyn Gavina, Kenny Wilkerson and Stoykof Nunez were selected to receive nominations from their congressman. They put in a lot of  time and effort into getting these nominations, which will make them stand out. They had to work hard to even be eligible to apply for them.

“The hard work was done my 4 years here, dedicating my time to the community and service to others. It was hard to wait for an answer, I wasn’t confident at all in my nomination process. I always thought ‘someone else has a better application, they’ll get chosen’ but instead I was chosen for this award,” said Ortega.

This application process is one of the longest out there. It took a few months for them to even semi-finish the application. They had to stay on top their schoolwork in order to meet the requirements needed to apply. In addition, they also had to make sure that they filled all the papers and completed the exams that were required.

“I put about 70% of my time on this application because its so long but it’s worth it. It included personal information which is about 4 pages long, medical exams, physical assessments, and essays. So it was spread out into a 4 month process, which still isn’t fully submitted,” said Gavina.

Now that they know their application has been approved and that they have received their nomination, one might think they would get an immediate acceptance to the service academies they intend to go to, but the process isn’t finished just yet. Although, it is a head start.

“It doesn’t necessarily ensure your spot but it helps make you looked at more and first. It helps you get a for sure spot for your app to be reviewed. I mean, I was excited but I didn’t let it get to my head, I always reminded myself that it’s just part of my academy application and it didn’t mean I was accepted into the school,” said Ortega.

This process was all worth while for these cadets, especially because these service academies are their dream schools which they wish to attend for the next 4-5 years. They all have different reasons for wanting to attend, but for the most part it all starts at the foundation of how the academies are structured.

“I decided this since last year when we visited the campus and I felt a place of belonging. I’ve been to the District of Columbia before and something always called me back. So the setting and unity there within the cadets made it even more attractive. They do have strict rules but it is a top school so that doesn’t matter as much,” said Gavina.

While Gavina feels her sense of belonging and comfort at this school, Ortega does too. Ortega feels like the Naval Academy has the out line of what she has always wanted in a school to get her where she wants to be, and what she feels is  a sense of home when visiting campus.

“Structure is something I was raised with, I’m used to having a schedule made for me and someone keeping me accountable. Service academies give me the opportunities that other school wont give me for my future families. I would graduate as an officer and have a set job in my hands right away. Being able to provide for my family is my greatest desire and going to the Naval Academy will give me the opportunity as soon as I graduate,” said Ortega.

Gavina, Ortega and Wilkerson are awaiting word from the Naval Academy. If they are accepted, they will be the first from Phoenix to attend. Nunez is awaiting word from West Point, where he would join other Phoenix alumni as a cadet.