Torrance, CA (May 13, 2019): This spring, not one, but two, BMHS seniors received the acceptance letter of a lifetime-- appointments to the United States Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Alexandre Some ’19 and Quinn Henry ’19, pictured right, will begin BCT (Basic Cadet Training) on June 27.
For both young men, it was a long and arduous process from their initial interest in a military appointment to their recent appointments. The application process, which included written paperwork and interviews, as well as medical and physical fitness tests, hinged on a nomination from their respective congressperson. For Some, it was Representative Maxine Waters, for Henry it was Senator Kamala Harris and Representative Ted Lieu. “The nomination was the hard part. You have to have that to move on,” commented Some. “And, each congressperson has their own evaluation and interview process [in addition to the Air Force Academy application].” Adds Henry, “Waiting was also tough… finding out if you made it to the next step.”
The Academy piqued Henry and Some’s interest during their sophomore year, and their desire to attend the prestigious institution was confirmed when they applied and were accepted to the Air Force Summer Seminar in July 2018. The young men spent a week in Colorado Springs visiting classes, touring the facilities, and even got a taste of boot camp during their visit.
After the seminar, both knew it was their top choice for post-secondary study and looked forward to spending four years at an institution with so much to offer. For Henry, a BMHS Ambassador, member of the football and track teams, and soon-to-be class valedictorian, it is the Academy’s “atmosphere of excellence that is embraced by everyone there. You have to always be at your best.” Some, a member of BMHS’ football and golf teams and soon-to-be class valedictorian, agrees with Henry and enthusiastically adds, “Skydiving! There are so many opportunities for skydiving and parachuting, and I can’t wait!.”
The young men also look forward to the academic rigor inherent in an Air Force Academy education and the future job opportunities that such an education will support. Both Some and Henry will pursue degrees in mechanical engineering, but after their four years at the Academy and five years of service conclude, they will pursue different courses. Some hopes to secure a job with NASA, become an astronaut, “and work at the International Space Station. No matter what I do, I want to continue serving my country in some capacity,” he says. Henry looks forward to a career in developmental engineering or cyberspace ops. “The Air Force mission includes air, space and cyberspace, and I definitely want to work in one of these areas." Though he’s not sure yet of his exact career path, he does know that he is ready for the next four years at the Academy: “I want to go in and see how it goes. I want to give it my all.”
No matter where their Academy experiences take them, both young men are excited for their futures. They are also appreciative of how their educations at Bishop Montgomery have prepared them. Henry believes that the academic preparation at BMHS will help him succeed in the Air Force: “Academically, looking at Bishop, I was able to challenge myself and do well with the rigor over my four years.” Some adds, “Bishop also taught me time management. For example, at the Air Force Academy, you have to play a sport in addition to all of the other responsibilities. Doing that already at Bishop has helped prepare me for what’s ahead.”
In addition to what they look forward to, they also know what they will miss. “It’s always tough [no matter where you go to college] to go from senior to the bottom. But, I think we’re ready,” explains Henry. Some agrees. “Ya, being at the top of the food chain and dropping back down will be tough,” he laughs, “but we know it’s coming.” They also both agree that the process of applying and preparing for the Air Force Academy has been a valuable one. It’s an experience they recommend for those students behind them looking at a future at one of the U.S. military academies. “The process to get there is not easy,” says Some. “But, you just have to push through and know there’s an end. You have to have fun with it.” And, what’s Henry’s advice? “Just do it. Enjoy the process. You’re guaranteed to learn a lot about yourself along the way.”