The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

Local News

September 20, 2013

Two Jefferson seniors visit United States Naval Academy

JEFFERSON — Two Jefferson Area High School seniors visited the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis, Md. in hopes of finding the right college.

After attending the Academy’s summer seminar, Tayler Johnston said “I felt like I could call it home.”

David Chase, on the other hand, visited the Academy last weekend. He said, “It’s a great school with great opportunities, but it is definitely not for everybody. If you aren’t 100 percent ready for it, you aren’t going to make it through your first year.”

Johnston said the seminar took place at the beginning of June. She attended because she said, “I’ve always known I’ve wanted to do something in the service. Serving the community has always been important to me.”

Chase said that while he was accepted to attend the summer seminar, he got mono and couldn’t attend. He instead visited last weekend because he was being recruited by the Academy’s track coach.

“I enjoyed my visit, but after thinking about it and discussing it with my family, I’ve decided it’s not the college for me,” he said. “Now that I’ve seen it, I have nothing but respect for them. They’re definitely an elite group.”

Chase said that he was pretty far along in the application process, but after his visit he decided not to finish it.

“I want to go into education, teaching history or social studies and coaching track and cross-country or basketball. I want to give back to the students like my coaches did for me,” Chase said.

He said his college search right now is mostly based on which track coaches are recruiting him. He has visited Lake Erie College and Hillsdale College, and is going to visit the University of Akron soon.

Johnston said that she is still working through the application process for the Naval Academy because it is very extensive. “You have to go through interviews with your senators and congressman, an interview with your Blue and Gold Officer, an interview at the Academy, plus essays on the application and a physical fitness test.”

“It only has a seven percent acceptance rate,” she said. “I want to go into government and politics with a focus in economic development and international affairs.”

Johnston said she has visited Cornell University, the University of Rochester, American University, Georgetown University and George Washington University.

“I’m also applying to Columbia (University) and Case Western (Reserve University). Since I’ve been working toward my grades for so long, I have a 4.0 GPA. I know that in the field I want to go into, you have to meet the right people and go to a prestigious school,” she said.

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