CHATHAM — Nine high school students, including four who attend Chicago Public Schools, may be headed to military academies this fall, thanks to U.S. Rep. Bobby Rush (D-Ill.) nominating them for full scholarships.
Each year U.S. congressmen nominate students who reside in their district for scholarships to one of five military academies. It is something Rush has done since being elected to Congress in 1993, his spokesman, Dennis Hawkins, said.
Students also may seek nominations from both U.S. senators from their home states or apply directly to the vice president of the United States.
Twenty-nine students applied for nomination this year, and 12 applied last year, Hawkins said.
Nominated Tuesday by Rush, whose 1st Congressional District includes the Chatham and Grand Crossing neighborhoods, were:
Troza Duante, Chicago Military Academy High School; Carly Marie Katalinic, Carl Sandburg High School; and David Sean Redwood, St. John Northwestern Military Academy, to the U.S. Military Academy.
Keeayla Samone Jones, Lindblom Math & Science Academy, and Khedoni Lewis Tyler, Air Force Academy High School, to the U.S. Air Force Academy.
Sydney Nicholle Foulks, Chicago High School for Agricultural Sciences; Mackenzie Tolman Oldfield, Brother Rice High School; Andrew Leroy Davie, Gary Comer College Preparatory High School; and Roberta Caratachea, Air Force Academy High School, to the U.S. Naval Academy.
Students were selected for nomination based on their grades, letters of recommendation, written essay and extracurricular activities. Other requirements: A candidate must 17- to 23 years-old; a U.S. citizen; unmarried, not pregnant and without legal obligation to support children or other dependents. Candidates also must meet the medical, physical and academic requirements of the academy for which they're applying.
Rush said nominating young people is especially gratifying.
“These are remarkable youth who will bring dedication, a strong work ethic and academic acumen that will serve them well in their pursuits,” he said. “I wish them well, and am pleased to nominate them for the prestigious honor of the military academy.”
Rush spokeswoman Debra Johnson added that U.S. Service Academy graduates receive a "first-rate" undergraduate education, equivalent to that provided by a top-tier, Ivy League schools, with options to pursue advanced degrees.
In exchange, graduates spend a minimum of five years serving their country on active duty as military officers. Students learn discipline, moral ethics and teamwork in a structured environment that fosters leadership and character development, Johnson said.
The full four-year scholarship is valued at more than $350,000, which includes tuition, room and board, medical and dental care and a monthly salary.
The individual service academies make the final admission decisions and begin notifying candidates of their status in February. All letters of appointment usually are sent out by May.