Kennedy Hecker headed to West Point

By Evelín Lopez Gutierrez

Editorial Editor

Kennedy Hecker is a student at South who enjoys helping others and has dreamed of serving in the military since she was young. She has recently accepted an appointment into the United States Military Academy at West Point. 

“My motivation is knowing that I want to serve. Ever since I was young, I’ve known I have wanted to help others. By being in the military, I can help everyone at once. The more I researched about the service academies, the more it seemed exactly like the place I wanted to be,” Hecker says. “Knowing that I would be a part of something bigger than myself while helping others was what drew to me the academies. I had no idea that I would be here today saying that I will be going to the United States Military Academy at West Point.”

Hecker says she is extremely excited about her recent acceptance to the military academy. 

“It’s been a dream of mine to go to a service academy, and it’s crazy to think that it’s actually happening. It still does not feel real, and I’m not sure that it will until the day I report.”

She says her application process was long and tedious, but that she is glad to have gotten it done, and that it has taken a massive weight off her shoulders. Hecker says it took four years’ worth of hard work to get the experience, leadership background, and character that it takes to be accepted. 

“It was cool to be able to list all my accomplishments; it was a moment for me to be proud of myself, to take a step back and realize all the goals that I have reached. At that point, I was just proud of myself for applying and putting myself out there.”

Hecker hopes to join the cyber branch in the army. If that doesn’t end up happening, she also wishes to be able to join the military intelligence branch. Regarding the process prior to her acceptance, Hecker says it took about 9 months. She says a truly good application will require work beginning from your freshman year, along with getting involved in school events and always aiming for top spots in classes and maintaining good grades. She says one of the most difficult parts of the application process was the fitness test. Last summer when she was applying, Hecker says you could find her and her father training for the test every Saturday and Sunday morning. She says it took a lot of hard work and early mornings, but the end result makes everything worth it once you put the effort in. 

Hecker’s biggest advice to other students hoping to make it into prestigious schools like she has is recommending that you get involved in school as much as you can, and really focus on your studies.

 “One thing these schools look for is well rounded students. They want involved, intelligent students, students who will succeed in an environment that requires that absolute best of them. Being of good moral character is one of the main points that each of the service academies looks for. By being involved, it shows that you can balance multiple responsibilities and still succeed. It takes a lot of hard work, but from my experience, it is most definitely worth it.”