Any advice for 10-11th grade students?

Discussion in 'Air Force Academy - USAFA' started by ParkCore, Jun 14, 2014.

  1. ParkCore

    ParkCore Member

    Apr 16, 2014
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    Hello all,

    I've been on this form for advice in the past, and I wanted to say thank you to all those that do participate and give advice. I'm a 10th grade student currently, and have aspirations of going to the Academy. I've had these aspirations for years now, but have always been too young, I suppose, to truly act on them besides working hard in school, activities, etc.. So, with that being said, is there anything that you can tell myself and others like me that you learned during the process? How did you stay focused? How did you maintain grades? How did you stay active? What activities were you involved in? Were you in NHS, JSA, BSA, SLA? Any information is possible. Oh, and how did you go about receiving your nomination? Did you know someone, or did you do well during your interview? How did you prepare for your interview with not only your congressman, but your ALO?

    Thanks in advance!

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  2. raimius

    raimius USAFA Alumnus

    Jun 9, 2006
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    Work hard. Get an A in every class you can. Participate in sports. Get leadership experience. As for interviews, think about the likely questions you'll be asked, and how you will respond. Perhaps have someone give you a mock interview. You don't want to just give answers you think they want to hear, you want to be able to articulate your own thoughts and motivations.

    I did well in school, got top 1% on the ACT, got my Eagle Scout award, and was on the tennis team. As for nominations, filled out the paperwork early, wore a suit and tie and showed at the right place and time.
  3. AFrpaso

    AFrpaso USAFA '17

    Mar 5, 2012
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    I'll offer some advice I left in a recent thread.

    Always stay humble and helpful.
    Absorb everything you can, but don't feel obligated to put "your stamp" on a project.

    If and when you get in, no one really cares where you're from, how good your school was, how high your test scores were, how much of an athlete you are etc. etc.

    Let your actions and demeanor indicate what kind of person you are.

    Never assume to operate on a "higher level" than others or you'll do more harm than good in the long run.
  4. bmw17

    bmw17 NWP 2012

    Jan 24, 2013
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    Something that really showed leadership in my application was that I actually started a new club at my high school. Starting a new club shows dedication and tenacity as it's always a challenge to start something from scratch. It also allowed me to get involved in a cause that I cared about. Because of this, it was more than just a booster for my application, and seeing the club still doing awesome things a couple years after I graduated from high school is a really neat thing. The whole experience of starting the club also continues to give me insight whenever I am in a situation where I have to deal with difficult people/circumstances.

    More advice is to be very involved (like president/captain/etc.) in a handful of things rather than be minimally involved in everything. When you do that you spread yourself too thin and it shows lack of commitment.

    Get to know your liaison officer before you have to sit down with them for your interview. Ask them questions, show your interest, ask them about their career in the Air Force. Having this sort of relationship with them gives them better insight on your character and your determination to get to the Academy and might make it easier for them to write your recommendation with confidence that you would make a good officer candidate. They are also very knowledgable resources and can answer any and all questions you might have.

    There is also a book called "The Air Force Academy Candidate Book" by Sue Ross. It is available for purchase through the Academy's online store and even on Barnes and Noble's website. It has very good information for people looking to go to the Academy and it even has good information for parents. I would highly recommend it.

    Start your application early. The earlier you send it in, the earlier it gets looked at, at which time the number of slots available is considerably higher than if you procrastinate. Apply to EVERY nomination source, don't forget the VP!

    Interview advice: they might throw a curveball at you and you might not know every answer. That's totally OK. Sometimes they just want to see how you react when you don't know the answer. Also, be yourself. Sometimes people go into interviews and try to be someone other than who they really are and it's usually obvious and doesn't go over too well. Dress sharp, firm handshake, eye contact, thank the interviewers for taking their time, all that jazz. Know why you want to go to the academy. You will be asked a million times, in interviews, by friends, and by your cadre once you get to the Academy. It's definitely a question that you need to find your own answer to.

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  5. afa18

    afa18 Member

    Jun 15, 2014
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    Stay fit! My largest issue was that I wasn't up to par fitness wise, though again I didn't decide to apply to the Academy later than most people.

    Grab every opportunity, esp. talk to your counselor, etc. E.g. I missed Boy's State because I didn't know about it and didn't apply. My friend got in, but he was the only applicant from our school.

    Keep a running tally of everything you do in a Word doc. It'll help with ANY applications: job, civilian college, et. al.

    Don't procrastinate either. The earlier you get stuff done, the better position you're in.

    That's all from me :shake:

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