Central Catholic Blue & White Newsletter- Spring 2018

B RANDON V ILLEJO A PPOINTEE Air Force Academy

"“To educate, train, and inspire the Corps of Cadets so that each graduate is a commissioned leader of character committed to the values of Duty, Honor, Country and prepared for a career of professional excellence and service to the Nation as an officer in the United States Army."

Brandon Villejo ’18 (Left), Austin Villejo ’14( Right)

From moving to the United States from Taiwan in 2009 and not knowing much English, to now being ranked 4th in the senior class as a 4.0 student who has received numerous JROTC and academic awards. Brandon's journey to his acceptance is one of hard work and dedication! In addition, he has been a proud member of the JROTC and Basketball program all four years at CCHS. Read his interview below! I've always had the dream to become a pilot when I grow up so I started looking into what schools could get me to achieve this goal. I wasn't sure of the United States Air Force Academy (USAFA) at first because of the huge commit- ment, but as I compared it with other civilian schools, I saw that the Academy stands out from the rest. After talking to liaison officers and recent grads and touring the institution, I had my eyes set on going there. The Academy offers an elite education that forms it’s cadets into well-rounded people. The allure of being a part of such a prestigious institu- tion also drew me to making the decision to apply and ultimately accept my offer of appointment. However, the whole application process was long and tedious. Not only did I need to apply to USAFA, I also needed to apply for congressional nominations from my United States Senators and House of Representatives. As with all other college applications, I needed to provide my test scores, transcripts, resume/extracurriculars, essays, along with recommendation letters. On top of those pieces, I also needed to participate in a physical fitness test and a full medical examination to qualify for an appointment. In addition, I had to interview with the Academy and my congressman. After starting the application process in early March of my junior year, I received my first nomination from Senator Ted Cruz in mid December to USAFA. I then received my second nomination to USAFA and a nomination to the United States Naval Academy from Congressman Henry Cuellar in early January. Later that month, I got two successive phone calls from the offices of Congressman Cuellar and Senator Cruz notifying my offer of appointment to the United States Air Force Academy. I fell speechless. It still hasn't completely settled in me that all the hard work I had put in, not only this ten-month long application process, but also throughout my four years in high school to place me in a position where I could receive an appointment from a service academy, has paid off. I feel proud of the accomplishments which have given me this opportunity. It feels like I’m finally able to reap the benefits of my work, and that was a grand feeling of accomplishment in itself.

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