10-Year Member
Jun 9, 2006
:confused: My name is Steven from the Bronx, New York. I am involved in numerous of activities such as Air Force JROTC, CAP, swimming, and music. I have a huge problem. My academics are not where they should be. Ok so here is the story. At the beginning of my sophomore year of high school, my grades went down. Mostly because my mom had lost her job. I decided to get a job of my own but I didn't want to neglect athletics, so I decided since I just started swimming, I decided to train to become a lifeguard. I took me months of training before I was fast enough to make it. It also took me a long time to raise the money to get the certification. At the end of my sophomore year I was a lifeguard. My grades went up at the final semester of sophomore year. My summer schedule had been pack with activities such as Engineering, Aviation training, Summer Leadership School, and CAP that I was not able to get a job. By the time school started my mom found a job. She is working full time. She didn't have time to take care of my little brother who is in first grade, or help him with his homework. Most of my time I spent cooking, cleaning and teaching my brother how to read. I neglected my academics because of it. And now I am suffering. I overloaded myself with classes junior year and extracurricular's. I took AP English. I basically wasted two years of my high school because of teachers that didn't teach me how to write persuasively, and now I am guaranteed to fail that class. I don't know if I'm going to fail Math because of the same reason. Also I might fail Physics. I started Physics this year. The teacher wasen't very good and what is worst is that he retired in the middle of the semester and now I have to take this exam, and I might fail the class. My average now is like 88. Now with these three possible failures, it will go down indefinitely. I learned a lot from this situation, such as becoming an independent learner. But the fact of the reality is that I am failing. I promised myself that I wouldn't allow this to happen my second semester of junior year. I feel like I haven't learned anything. I want to be strong in Math, Physics, and Chemistry. I want to write a good paper. I desire to go to the Air Force Academy (or any service academy). Does anyone have any suggestions on how to catch up? Does anyone think I will make it even with these failures?:confused:
Why are you considering an 88 a failure? That's B+ barring any wierd grading systems. The USAFA application allows you to explain hardships or any reason why grades, etc. were hurt. Don't lose hope yet, do your best and use the section in the application to allow you to explain your situation.
My opinions may come across as black and white and for that I do apologize. Plain and simple, dont give up. It's only too late when they send you a letter saying you are not qualified. Until then you stand a chance, the same chance countless others have. Play hard on your strengths, but at the same time dont be afraid to highlight your weaknesses and describe how they have made you stronger and how they truly affected you as a whole. My ALO told me when I expressed some personal hardships my family had faced that those situations highlight your character and put you on a level some may not get to reach. I must say that your situation is extremely unique, and yet your ambition allows you to want to do more. A suggestion may be to blow your test scores out of the water, it will give you another tough reinforcer with your application. You will be in my prayers and if I may speak for all of us here on this board, we believe in you 100%!!! ;)
Thank you for all of your support. How can I describe my hardships to the Academy without looking like some charity case. My situation does not define me. I define me. One way I see it is that the lessons I learn in life eventually will help me in the long run.

- Respectfully,

Stay motivated. I think you said your still a junior so try not to focus on not making it into an academy. Just take one thing at a time and study hard. With the classes your taking you are obviously extremely intellegent. Do well on your SAT's and ACT's(take them both). You seemto have alot of character to do what you have for your family and I think thats what you need to focus on. Let them know what you've gone through not so they can feel pity for you but so they can see you put your family before your self and did the right thing(CORE VALUES they will come up in you Air Force career on a daily basis). Finally, if you don't get in, and I don't say this to alot of applicants, think about enlisting. You seem highly qualified and if you show them what your made of in your military career they will look past your high school. And with a service connected nomination you have a very good chance of getting into either the prep school or directly to the academy. Trust me, my high school GPA was a 2.5 but I showed them how much I wanted it and that I had the intellect, work ethic, and motivation to become an officer. And you seem to have alot more of those than I do. Keep working hard and stay motivated.

Air Power