Reposted from SILive:
Carol Ann Benanti | firstname.lastname@example.org By Carol Ann Benanti | email@example.com
on February 24, 2017 at 2:34 PM, updated February 24, 2017 at 2:40 PM
STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. — New York City students, 10 of them in fact, are indeed proud to have received certificates of honor from Congressman Dan Donovan, nominating them to U.S. military service academies.
In order to be nominated, each teen was required to undergo a rigorous application process in which a local committee evaluated academic records, extracurricular activities, recommendations, and leadership skills.
Donovan awarded four nominations to the U.S. Military Academy, four to the U.S. Naval Academy, one to the U.S. Air Force Academy, and one to the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy.
Congressman Donovan stated: “I’m honored to nominate the brightest students from our district to the U.S. service academies. Each nominee has worked hard and chosen the noble path of serving and defending our great nation. I applaud your patriotism and look forward to seeing your future accomplishments. It’s truly a privilege to help build the next generation of servicemen and women.”
The ceremony took place on Staten Island at the SSG Michael Ollis VFW.
The facility is named after hometown hero Army Staff Sergeant Michael Ollis, who stepped in front of a suicide bomber in Afghanistan to save a Polish soldier.
Donovan has pushed for further recognition of Ollis’ heroism and valor, and he has sent a letter to the Secretary of the Army recommending him for the Congressional Medal of Honor. Ollis’s parents attended the event and addressed the student nominees.
“Staff Sgt. Michael Ollis embodies the true American spirit. He gave his life for his country and his display of bravery, selflessness, and sacrifice is an example for all of us. The legacy of Staff Sgt. Ollis will live on through your service and dedication to protecting freedom.”
The nominees must still earn admission to the service academy for which they were nominated. Congressman Donovan’s 2017 Service Academy picks are:
U.S. Military Academy, Jonathon Carbonella, College of Staten Island, Jonathon Decarlo, Susan Wager High School, Patrick Orlando, Penn State University, Evan Tedesco, Staten Island Tech High School.
U.S. Naval Academy, Michael Stumpf, Xavier High School, Lauren Casella, Tottenville High School, Najee Jenkins, Coney Island Prep High School and Joshua Maldonado, Xavarian High School
U.S. Air Force Academy, Caleb Wong, Aviation Career & Technical High School
U.S. Merchant Marine Academy, Matthew Bantis, Poly Prep High School.