Senior Suhaan Akula from Brewster High School in Putnam County is one of the over 1,000 students across the US who was admitted into West Point for the 2023-24 school year, Brewster Central School District Communications Specialist Jessica Medoff announced on Thursday, May 18.
In order to attend the school, located in Orange County in the town of Highlands, Akula had to endure a competitive application process started by nearly 10,000 students across the country. This process included getting excellent grades, showing a commitment to the community, passing a rigorous physical examination, and even earning a nomination from a member of Congress.
Akula said himself that the process almost got the best of him.
"There were so many steps: applications, interviews, and the physical training," he said, continuing, "I was almost burnt out when I heard I was nominated by Senator Patrick Maloney.”
However, Akula was more than qualified to get through the process as a participant in Brewster's NJROTC program. During his time with this program, he was the Academic Team Commander in charge of a team that won trophies and planned the JROTC Academic and Leadership Bowl for the unit.
Additionally, he also received the NJROTC honor cadet ribbon during both his sophomore and junior years, which is earned by having the highest GPA out of all the cadets in the grade.
These qualifications, in addition to a desire to pursue more career paths, contributed to Akula's decision to apply for the prestigious school.
"I asked myself ‘What do I want to do with my life?’" Akula said, adding that he also reflected on the fact that his parents, who are both from India, did not have similar opportunities when they were growing up.
"I wanted to take advantage of what West Point has to offer," Akula continued.
Although he is not completely sure what he wants to major in yet, he is leaning toward an engineering path due to his love for math and science.
"I believe if I work hard, West Point will set me up for whatever I decide to do after graduating," Akula said.
As he prepares to attend West Point, Akula realizes that the real endurance test has only just begun.
"It will be physically and mentally tough to be at West Point, but I believe, every challenge is good and you grow from challenges," he said.
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