MARSHFIELD – Ngoc Vo and Grace Bugoyne grew up in the same town, but after attending different high schools, having different friends and living in different neighborhoods, they'd never crossed paths until a matching pair of coveted college acceptance letters landed in their inboxes.
Next month, the two Marshfield residents will together head to Annapolis, Maryland and join the U.S. Naval Academy's Class of 2027.
“The second I stepped on to the yard and I met all the people, I absolutely fell in love with it,” Burgoyne, 17, said of her new school. "I knew that that was exactly where I wanted to go. It’s just such a community of driven and determined people."
Students at the academy, called midshipmen, earn a bachelor's degree in their choice 25 different majors and must go on to serve at least five years as a commissioned officer in the U.S. Navy or Marine Corps. Vo and Burgoyne will participate in rigorous training sessions this summer and hone their skills in swimming, martial arts, basic rock climbing and endurance.
Burgoyne is pursuing a degree in political science and Vo, 18, is pursuing a mechanical engineering degree. Sen. Elizabeth Warren sponsored Burgoyne's application to the military academy and Rep. Bill Keating sponsored them both.
“You could have amazing grades and be the best on your sports team, but at the end of the day the Naval Academy is training you to be an officer in the Navy, so if you can’t lead people and be confident in your decisions and have problem solving skills, then you’re not going to be able to lead on a Destroyer (ship),” said Burgoyne, who hopes to fly Hawkeye helicopters.
Leadership, representation matter to Naval Academy recruits
Vo, who grew up in Vietnam and goes by the name MJ, said she's wanted to join the military since her family immigrated to the United States when she was 10 years old.
“I saw women of color who were also strong, motivated and were great leaders and to me I feel like it’s very important to represent because I was born in Vietnam," she said. "I just wanted to prove that a small Asian woman could also be in the military,"
When Vo get her acceptance letter, she was in her government class at Marshfield High School.
“The day before, I was driving back from a college tour at (the University of Michigan),” Vo said. “The day after, at 7:30 a.m., I checked my email and I saw my letter of assurance and I was so excited, I emailed I think all of my teachers.”
Burgoyne was at home constantly checking her email when she got the good news. At 6 feet, 4 inches tall, Burgoyne was recruited to play volleyball during her junior year at Notre Dame Academy. She will join the volleyball team as a middle blocker.
“I started crying,” Burgoyne said of opening her acceptance email.
Vo and Burgoyne said they are mentally prepared for the rigorous and challenging years ahead of them.
“With sports, mental toughness is a huge part of it,” Burgoyne said. “One of my favorite things that Lebron James does is that he meditates. I meditate before all big sports games and big tests.”
Author :Joel Barnes
Source Url :https://www.patriotledger.com/story/news/2023/05/23/marshfield-girls-commit-to-the-u-s-naval-academy-class-of-2027/70236681007/
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