- Monterey Community School
Academy High School grad prepares to take flight!
“Taking flight” after graduation is more than just figurative language for one Academy High School graduate. After being accepted into the highly competitive and prestigious Chief of Staff of the United States Air Force Flight Academy Scholarship program, 2019 graduate Julyssa C. will soon be flying high and achieving her dreams in aviation.
Julyssa was one of 120 recipients from around the country selected to receive a $20,000 scholarship to attend a two-month aviation program at one of six partnering universities during the summer. At the end of May, Julyssa will head to Kansas State University where she will work toward her Federal Aviation Administration Private Pilot Certificate and 12 college credits.
The application process, at times arduous, took Julyssa nearly a year to complete. She received the good news of her acceptance in May.
“I’m really excited,” Julyssa said. “It’s what I’ve always wanted and now it’s here.”
Julyssa started in Mapleton’s Air Force JROTC program as a freshman. She is one of 30 cadets to complete a full four years of the program. Julyssa was inspired to become a cadet because of the discipline instilled by the Air Force JROTC program. She said she is grateful for choosing this high school path, as the support she has received from her peers and mentors, Lt. Col. William Arrington, Mapleton’s JROTC Senior Aerospace Science Instructor and Chief Master Sgt. Robert W. Rodewald, Mapleton’s Aerospace Science Instructor, has provided her with a family-like atmosphere that she will never forget.
Julyssa is most excited about being able to inspire her peers to believe that hard work and dedication leads to success. “I hope that our younger cadets are inspired by this,” she said. “I want them to know that sometimes our biggest failures or upsets can turn out to be really beautiful things. Everything that happens is truly for a reason. Hopefully this new opportunity will lead me to future opportunities.”
Following two months of intense training, Julyssa will begin her undergraduate degree at the University of Colorado, Denver this fall. She hopes to eventually transfer from CU Denver to one of six United States services academies.
Julyssa said one thing that is for certain is that Mapleton will see her again.
“I would love to come back to the district and work here as an ROTC instructor, or take Lt. Col. Arrington’s spot,” Julyssa joked.
Chief Master Sgt. Robert W. Rodewald agrees. “When Julyssa graduates, it will be a see you later, not a goodbye,” he said.