Hello viewers! My name is Allyson Alise Mason, I am 22 years old, half Puerto Rican, half Caucasian, and I grew up all over the place. Since my father was enlisted in the Coast Guard, I lived in three different states by the time I was 6 years old. I then spent a year overseas with my grandparents and two sisters (one older and one younger) in Indonesia, and went to Singapore and Hong Kong in that time. I learned to speak both Indonesian and Javanese fluently, and felt completely at home in the culture by the time I had to return back to the states at age 7. I spent the rest of my youth in Northern California, moving from house to house until the 6th grade, when we finally settled in Willits, California. The house we settled in, up in the redwoods on a mountain nearby a beautiful lake, is now what I call home. I feel so blessed to have traveled so much throughout my life, because it helped me to be cultured, and to understand a variety of people.
Throughout high school I was a high performer, a co-captain of my swim team, and spent much of my free time doing community service. I felt like I was a shoe-in for the Academy, considering I’d been accepted to all of the civilian colleges I applied to. But life handed me a large piece of Humble Pie when I received my letter that I was offered a slot at Marion Military Institute for a year rather than a direct admission to the Academy. At first, I didn’t know if I wanted to go, but looking back at how much that year prepared me for life at the Academy, I know it was the best decision I could have made for myself. I am currently a Civil Engineering major, I help lead worship for Friday Night Fellowship, and I spend the scarce free time that I have snowboarding in the winter, and anything outdoorsy in the summer. I used to be on the Boxing Team, but after dislocating my shoulder I have become an IC Warrior (which is basically just your average cadet who plays intercompany sports!).
Being at the Academy has prepared me so much to be a leader out in “The Real World,” and I wouldn’t trade any of my experiences here for the world.