Brewster High School senior Suhaan Akula will be attending West Point in the Fall. Akula went through the highly competitive application process–West Point reports that about 10,000 start the application process but only over 1,000 are admitted. The academy requires candidates to have fantastic grades, show a commitment to their community and pass a rigorous physical examination. Finally, they must be nominated by a member of Congress.
“The application process was really tough,” said Akula, “there were so many steps: applications, interviews, and the physical training. I was almost burnt out when I heard I was nominated by Senator Patrick Maloney.”
Akula, who participated in the NJROTC program in Brewster, had all of the boxes checked as an applicant: he was the Academic Team Commander in charge of a team that won trophies and planned the JROTC Academic & Leadership Bowl for the unit. He also received the honor cadet ribbon in NJROTC sophomore and junior year which is earned by having the highest GPA out of all the cadets in the grade.
He made the decision to apply to West Point when he started to think about his future and college in his junior year.
“I asked myself ‘what do I want to do with my life?’ I reflected on all of my cousins in India–my parents are both from India–and realized that they don’t have this kind of opportunity. I wanted to take advantage of what West Point has to offer,” said Akula, “I am not sure what I want to major in yet, but I love math and science and can see myself on an engineering path. I believe if I work hard, West Point will set me up for whatever I decide to do after graduating.”
But, he is realistic about the challenges ahead.
“It will be physically and mentally tough to be at West Point, but I believe, every challenge is good and you grow from challenges.”
What does his family think of his decision to attend West Point?
“My brother was really supportive, Akula said, “he told me I should go for it. My parents are a little nervous, but they are very proud of me and excited for the free college education.”