January 26, 2018

Duckworth Speaks with Chicago Military Academy Students, Highlights Importance of National Service

Senator also announces Service Academy Class of 2022 nominees


[CHICAGO, IL] — Today, U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) met with students from the Chicago Military Academy, a public school located in the historic Bronzeville neighborhood of Chicago. Senator Duckworth spoke with the students about the importance of national service, military readiness and the critical need for long-term funding certainty that allows our Armed Forces to more effectively defend our nation. A photo of the meeting can be viewed here.

“Service — both in and out of uniform — has been a driving force in my life, and I believe all Americans deserve the opportunity to give back to their country,” said Duckworth. “I am inspired by the dedication shown by each and every student here today. By attending Chicago Military Academy and participating in JROTC, you are choosing a path of service to your community and your country.”

Throughout her personal and professional life, Duckworth has been a strong advocate for the expansion of national service opportunities for all Americans. Duckworth served in the Reserve Forces for 23 years and continued to serve her fellow Veterans as Director of the Illinois Department of Veterans Affairs and then as Assistant Secretary of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. In 2016, she introduced the 21st Century American Service Act with Reps. John Lewis (GA-5) and Seth Moulton (MA-6) to increase service positions available through civilian national service organizations and ensure all young Americans are informed of the opportunities available to them.

Duckworth also announced her nomination of 44 Illinois high school students to attend United States Military Academies today. The academies include U.S. Military Academy at West Point, New York, U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colorado, U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland, and the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy in Kings Point, New York. In order to be considered for a Military Service Academy, a student must receive a formal nomination from their Member of Congress, Senator or the Vice President. Students must apply directly to both the Military Service Academy and elected official of their choice.

"It takes dedication, hard work and a special kind of young woman or man to succeed at a U.S. Military Service Academy," said Duckworth. "The rigorous nomination process demands outstanding test scores, a high GPA and a commitment to community service – all of which these students possess. I look forward to these young men and women making Illinois and our nation proud.”

The Senator nominated the following students for admission to the Class of 2022:

U.S. Naval Academy

Anne Marie Ahern- Home Schooled
Grant Appel of O’fallan Township High School
Bailey Griffin of Barrington High School
Samuel Baranick of Marmion Academy
Mara Contreras of George Westinghouse College Prep
James Crane of Arcola High School
Nora Dachota of Riverside Brookfield High School
Catherine De Forrest of Oak Park River Forest High School
William Flowers of Victor J. Andrew High School
Trevor Horn of Lincoln-Way East High School
Sidney Kirby of Adlai E. Stevenson High School
Elizabeth Lowery of Hinsdale South High School
David Martinez of Pritzker College Prep
Jose Murillo of Chicago Bulls College Prep
Brennan O’brien of Lincoln-Way West High School
Kathleen Rock of Byron High School
Mary C. Sajnaj of Loyola Academy
Sean Spoerre of Carterville High School
Tiera Sterling of Thronridge High School
Joseph R. Wolff of Barrington High School

U.S. Air Force Academy

Jake Cooley of Illinois Math and Science Academy
Zachary Couper of Boylan Central Catholic
Alannah Crompton of Moline Senior High School
Adam Davis of St. Edward Central Catholic
Therese Hein of Aurora Central Catholic
Zachary Jenkins of Loyola Academy
Andrew Kim of Peoria Christian School
Joel Lindsey of O’fallon Township High School
Cole Paraday of Naval Academy Prep
Willa J. Sauer of Valmeyer High School

U.S. Military Academy at West Point

Ethan Baranagan of Culver Academies
Cameron Bilardello of North High School
Stephanie Dolehide of Hinsdale Central High School
John Elischer of Palatine High School
Markus Hartman of Barrington Community High School
Caleb J. Lagestee of Hinsdale Central High School
David K. Nkansah of Hinsdale South High School
Daniel Riley of Cary-Grove Community High School
Connor Scanlan of Wheaton Academy
Rachel White of Waubonsie Valley High School

U.S. Merchant Marine Academy

Clayton Bonitati of O’fallon Township High School
Lauren Hunter of Lincoln-Way East High School
Thomas J. Pudelek of Zion Benton Township High
Christopher Welsh- Home Schooled