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Prep For The Next Step: CGA Scholars Report In

by Stefanie Senkow/Photo by PA3 Nicole Foguth
July 18, 2018

CGAS 2018 NEW LONDON, Conn. --Family huddles, congratulatory handshakes and even some selfies set the scene in the Coast Guard Academy’s Leamy Hall on July 16, as the incoming Coast Guard Academy Scholars bade fond farewells to their families to embark on their military journeys.

Sixty-six high school graduates in this year’s group of scholars, 24 of which are women and 33 from underrepresented minority groups, reported in at the Academy to begin their 3-week orientation program before departing to their respective prep schools. The Academy-sponsored scholars program selects a handful of high school graduates to attend one of three prep schools, Marion Military Institute, the U.S. Naval Academy Prep School or Georgia Military College, for one year to strengthen their military and academic foundations in order to receive a direct appointment to the Academy upon completion.

“During their orientation, the scholars will receive an introduction to military life which includes wearing uniforms, close order drills, marching, saluting and learning the Coast Guard’s organizational structure, core values and Academy standards,” said LT Marvi Rivera, Coast Guard Academy Scholars Program Section Chief.

But despite a little nervousness amongst the students, there was an overwhelming feeling of enthusiasm in the air, as they expressed their excitement for their new adventures.

“Three words—private pilot’s license,” said Scholar Samika Lewis, of Arley, Ala., when asked what she was most looking forward to during her one year at Marion Military Institute, which offers students the opportunity to receive this certification. “But seriously, I am super excited to get an extra year, with pay and time in service, to help me prepare for the Academy because I would like to be a career officer.”

As a U.S. Army Veteran, Lewis’s mother, Lisa Jefferson stated, “We were so impressed by the Coast Guard Academy and the genuine joy of the cadets. We dug through the YouTube videos, media files and all we saw were smiles. Even the pictures of the older officers, they have crow’s feet from smiling so much!”

Scholar Lauren Daugherty, of Calvert County, Md., first learned of the Academy upon receiving a recruiting email from the Academy’s softball coach.

“After doing some research, I was drawn to the Academy because of not only the opportunities but the type of people that immerse themselves in this type of work,” said Daugherty, who will be attending Georgia Military College.

“Absolutely elated,” said Daugherty’s mother, Elizabeth, when asked how she felt the morning of her daughter’s orientation.

To learn more about the Coast Guard Academy Scholars program, visit