July 8, 2004 – St. Croix Educational Complex student Luis Garcia is shipping out with the U.S. Coast Guard — for a week. He's scheduled to attend the Coast Guard's Academy Introduction Mission program beginning Saturday. He heads off for the Academy to live in a dorm with about 500 other high school students July 10 and returns July 16.
"AIM consists of seven action-packed days from reveille at 0600 to taps at 2200, where you live the life of a Coast Guard Academy cadet," according to a publication of the academy. "The week gives you firsthand knowledge of the Academy, its superb Faculty and cadets, its majors, and athletic programs – everything you need to know to make an informed decision about applying to and attending the Academy."
The students will swim, run, exercise, play sports, kayak, sail — and study. For details of the program, visit the AIM Web site.
"AIM is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity allowing me to learn about the academy, make new relationships, and meet people of diverse backgrounds," Luis said. "My family and I are quite excited about this opportunity."
His mathematics teacher, James Brennan, wrote, "Luis is a shining example of a young man that has been given nothing, but through self-determination has chartered a path to success for him[self] and set achievable goals. I have no doubt that Luis will reach his goals and become a very successful person." In April 2004, Luis was recommended to meet a Coast Guard COMPASS Outreach Team by high school counselor Genitta Richards.
"I strongly agree with Mr. Brennan's recommendation and hope more students will apply this fall to attend the Coast Guard Academy," Coast Guard Lt. Alvin Dalmida Jr., said. "Each year the Academy hosts a summer program for students planning on attending the academy. This year, approximately 500 high school candidates were selected to experience cadet life for one week. The program is extremely challenging and explores the academy's technical majors. About 50 percent of AIM grads typically earn appointments to the Academy."
"I have been in contact with Luis almost every step of the way and he has outstanding communication skills; he's athletic, volunteers in the local community, and has remarkable grade scores," Dalmida added.
Editor's note:This article was provided by Coast Guard Lt. Alvin Dalmida Jr.
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