Four Brunswick High School seniors have been accepted this year into the prestigious United States service academies.
Ethan Wilson, Aubrey Williams, Emily Spence and Marcus Scott will attend military academies this fall.
“Brunswick High School has produced quite a few kids who have gone to the academies, but never four in one class,” said Valerie Fields, the senior professional school counselor at Brunswick High. “That just speaks to the intellect, the perseverance, the type of students we have here at Brunswick High School. We have an amazing group of students at Brunswick High.”
Wilson will attend the United States Military Academy, also known as West Point.
“I got a full ride to Texas A&M through the Army also, but what interests me about West Point is that everybody there is top notch,” he said. “It’s not just a select group. Every single person that gets in is the top person.”
Wilson hopes to have a career in the U.S. Army.
“My dad was in the Air Force for 21 years, and I want to do the same thing,” he said. “I want to serve my country and give back for everything it’s done for me.”
Wilson grew up with the dream of attending a military academy, said Sarah Wilson, his mom.
“Ethan came out with a military uniform on … he was born to go to West Point,” she said. “That sounds cliché, but it’s true.”
Her son has worked hard for years to achieve this goal, Sarah Wilson said, and he’s made numerous sacrifices along the way.
“He’s really put his nose down and worked hard, and it comes out in the application,” she said.
All four students play sports for Brunswick High, participate in community service projects and take part in other school extracurriculars.
Williams, a defensive back for the Pirates, will play football at the U.S. Naval Academy. He also runs track, and he’s completed internships through the Golden Isles College and Career Academy.
He hopes to study medicine.
“It’s just really exciting … I think the environment up there is going to be really cool,” Williams said. “It’s going to be a lot different from being down here.”
Scott will attend the Air Force Academy, where he will play basketball. He plans to major in education.
“One of the main reasons for me was after you graduate, you’re basically set,” he said.
Spence will also attend the Naval Academy. She plans to major in cyber-operations and work in the intelligence community.
“I went there for a summer seminar, and it was kind of a feeling of belonging, kind of like my calling,” she said. “A lot of my family served either in the Navy or in the Marine Corps.”
At Brunswick High, Spence plays on the school’s softball and soccer teams, and she runs cross country. She also serves on the United Community Bank Junior Board, through which she works with Keep Golden Isles Beautiful, volunteers at the annual Sunshine Festival and helps Communities in Schools.
Spence’s father, Scott Spence, the principal at Brunswick High, said he’s proud of his daughter and of all the students.
“I’m proud of all the students for their accomplishments,” he said. “This is something that Emily has wanted for a couple of years now, and she set her goals toward this last year … Any time your child meets a goal that she sets, a really high goal, you’re certainly proud.”
Acceptance into the U.S. service academies is highly competitive. The academies have acceptance rates ranging from 9 percent to 18 percent.
Students have to receive nominations from their congressional representatives, pass fitness tests and excel in interviews. They must also score high on standardized tests and maintain competitive GPAs.
Fields, who has known these four students since they came to Brunswick High as freshmen, said this is an exceptional group who will go on to be successful.
“They are such giving students,” she said. “They are students who, yes they work hard, but they also want to see others do well … They have what it takes to make everyone around them better.”