What can I do now?

Discussion in 'Air Force Academy - USAFA' started by comeback2015, Mar 23, 2014.

  1. comeback2015

    comeback2015 New Member

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    Hello all,

    First post. I know that the question "What are my chances?" is not a really reliable question so I am asking for your advice and input. Based on what I've seen in this forum and the help you have provided for each other I am assured that I will get beneficial advice.

    I am a senior graduating this year. I was looking forward to applying for Class of 2018 (Congrats to those accepted:smile:!) however I had a chest disease/injury my junior year that pretty much changed my life. I am healthy now and I want to apply for the Class of 2019 and get back in shape and work on my application.

    Cumulative GPA: 3.37
    Missed a lot of school because of time in the hospital and current problems in family. I'm just happy to be alive and God has helped me. Retaking the SAT/ACTs every month until January.

    Academics: My School's AP program is one of the most challenging in district

    9th- Took all Regular classes. GPA: 3.63
    10th- Started getting serious for USAFA so took 3 honors. Honors Geometry, English and Bio. GPA: 3.55
    11th- Took 2 APs. AP English and AP US History. And Honors Chemistry.
    CUMULATIVE GPA: 3.51
    12 1st Sem-2 APs. AP English and AP European History. Honors Pre-Calc. And Physics(Hard class with only Pre-Calc as Math level)
    CUMULATIVE GPA: 3.37. Went down due to my injury and family issues.

    I know it does not look good. But I want to get it all up this semester to at least a 3.5 flat. I can explain my hardship in my essay.

    Extra Curricular Activities School:

    Track-All 4 years except Junior year due to injury. JV Freshmen, Varsity 10, 12. Will letter this year.

    Band- 5 years. 2 years Wind Ensemble(Top band in my high school).
    Did both Orchestra and Band for Violin and Saxophone 8th and 9th Grade then dedicated to Band.

    Extra Curricular:

    -Civil Air Patrol. I will be having a busy summer this summer. Going to a lot of activities in CAP. I really enjoy the program and have been exposed to many opportunities. Been in the program for almost 2 years now. Earned C/SMgt, Flight Sergeant. Will Earn Mitchell Award during the Summer. And have a goal of reaching Earhart May 2015. Working hard to be the next First Sergeant and Cadet Commander in the next months.

    -Accepted to go to Hawk Mountain Ranger School. It is a leadership National Cadet Special Activity teaching a bit of SERE, search and rescue, emergency services. Working hard physically and I want to earn the qualification Ranger 2nd Class(more rigorous than 3rd) and Ground Team 2(higher than 3rd).

    -Participating in a joint mission with CAP Cadets and the Canadian Royal Cadets providing Air Show support during the show. Hoping to be on staff as the first sergeant this summer.
    -Summer Encampment 2014- Applied for Line Staff as a Flight Sergeant.
    -Color Guard: Hope to be next CG Commander and lead the team to competition.
    -Working on Private Pilots License this through CAP. Will earn it towards November 2014.
    -Previously staffed numerous CAP Wing Level Activities in last 2 years.

    Other Activities:
    -Boys State 2013:Served at the County Level. County won first place solving county problem.

    Volunteer Experience:
    -2013 Presidential Service Award (250+ volunteer hours). Will earn the service award this year too.
    -High School Tutor
    -NHS

    Church:
    -I am heavily involved in church.
    -Head of Sound System(Currently training new people to operate it.
    -Junior Deacon
    -Numerous service positions in church.

    CAP is my main leadership source. I've been overlooked and picked last multiple times. I was hoping to be one of the captains of the track team but I did not get picked. Most appointees have been a captain of a sport and I missed out on that. I take advantage of every leadership opportunity available in CAP. I am a humble and respectful guy, I am a hard worker.
    I am now working to get back in shape. I hope to max out in all the events to increase my chances. And do my best in the SAT/ACT. I will be attending a community college after high school to continue studies.

    I've been wanting to go the Air Force Academy since sophomore year. This is my personal decision. No one in my family cares enough to support my dreams. My cousins/uncle/aunties care and are proud of my dreams but I don't live with them and barely see them.

    Thank you for reading this long post. And PLEASE be honest tell me anyway I can improve my application. I am willing to work hard and claw my way to the top. Its not going to be easy. This is something I really want. And the USAFA is the place I want to be.
     
  2. Jayceguy

    Jayceguy Jayceguy

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    As a 2018 appointee who didn't think my own app was strong enough, everything besides academics looks strong. If you can get ~30+ on your ACT that should in some part make up for GPA. They will understand your misfortune and probably look favorably upon you for it if you really make it look like an obstacle you overcame and are a better person because of it. I had a similar story that, though not related to health, I think really bolstered my application. Good luck to you, and it's too bad you won't be joining us this year!

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  3. Rob.Student

    Rob.Student Member

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    You said you're GPA doesn't look good but know it is well within the range of midshipman whom are offered appointments. Your leadership is outstanding, make sure your year out of HS is productive (and the best advice is to take plebe year like courses at a 4-year institution if possible).

    What should be said is please, PLEASE look at this document http://www.dtic.mil/whs/directives/corres/pdf/613003p.pdf (hope the link is okay, straight to instruction 6130 PDF on dod site) which contains the list of medical conditions that would medically disqualify you from attending the academies. I don't know what happened to you but any chest disease/injury is probably serious. Pages 16-21 outline disqualifying conditions of the heart, lungs, chest, etc.

    There is a waiver process if individual academies still believe you are competitive but know that some things are a LOT harder to get a waiver for than others. I don't want to seem harsh but the DoDMERB is a very rigid part of the process and passing that exam is REQUIRED to receive a (full) appointment and show up on I-day.

    That said, it could be nothing but I again encourage to look at instruction 6130 and be very careful about posting specific questions on the forums (if you have any) and listening to answers. We are not doctors and we are not part of the academies that make the decision to offer a waiver.

    Again sorry if it seems like an over reaction but any chest related thing that could seriously impacts grades really stood out to me.

    Good luck to you, you are obviously a great person and will succeed in whatever you decide to do with your life.
     
  4. Jayceguy

    Jayceguy Jayceguy

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    I had a 3.55 and got in. It would have been a 3.62 but they wouldn't update it with my seventh sem grades (angry mumbling). I had a less than stellar 9th grade year. You had roughly the same grades as I did all years minus senior year. They are manageable with good standardized test scores. I got a 34 math ACT which I think really made up for my GPA. I only took it once though, so since you are taking it every month, you should get some decent scores.

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  5. comeback2015

    comeback2015 New Member

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    Thank you both for your input.

    @Jayceguy: Congrats on your appointment. Hard work does pay off doesnt it. I will definitely try to get it up nd do better with my tests. Maybe I'll see you next year. Congrats!

    @Rob.Student: Thanks for showing me the medical qualifications. I had a spontaneous pneumothorax twice. First time I was running track when i felt something moving in my chest. Then went to the hospital to find it collapsed. They reinflated it thn I went home. Then a week later ot collapsed again. This time I went to have the surgery to remove the air sac cavity that keep collapsing my lung. And ever since I've been never had it collapsed. The regs says that its disqualifying with 2 years prior. It should be a little over a year and a half when I'll take my medical exam. I recently applied for a FAA Class 3 medical for earning pilots license. And they denied it but after 70+ pages of medical/surgery records they found me healthy so I just receive my FAA medical. I think it won't be a problems since I have my FAA medical. Lets see what the doctor says. I'll look into the waiver too. Thanks.
     
  6. paulkim1031

    paulkim1031 Member

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    I got my appointment about a week ago too.
    And I was involved in Civil Air Patrol as well. Well, I really devoted myself into Civil Air Patrol really... I'm still in this program and plan to attend until the last week before I head off to Colorado.
    I was in that program for 4 years, working my way up to Cadet Captain and a Cadet Commander for the squadron.
    I say that you should work toward earning the Earhart Award ASAP.
    I kinda slowed down after earning Mitchell award and i regretted so much that i didn't promote regularly. (studying for Earhart during school year is pretty challenging)

    As a GPA-wise, I say that you should focus on raising your gpa more than now... no offense, but I believe you need to do better on the academic side.
    Reading your application reminded myself writing the application since it looks pretty similar to mine.
    Good luck to you, man! :smile:
     

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