New London High School Graduate Celebrates 18th Birthday, Entrance into NAPS
GROTON, Conn. – While many graduating seniors from the local area high schools are still enjoying summer vacations, one New London High School senior is entering the Naval Academy Preparatory School on a special day: his 18th birthday, July 26.
When Jorge Rodriguez graduated from New London High School in late June he was waiting for word if he would class up with NAPS in the fall of 2011 in Newport, RI. On July 19 he received the good news, his acceptance.
“I am completely excited, and can’t wait to go,” said Rodriguez who graduated 10th out of more than 200 classmates with an overall GPA of 3.9. His GPA for his senior year was 4.0.
Rodriguez’s goal after successfully completion of NAPS is to enter the U.S. Naval Academy in the fall of 2012. Superintendent of New London Public Schools Dr. Nicholas Fischer reflected on his pupil’s accomplishment.
“He is the first in 10 years to be accepted into NAPS,” said Fischer, who thinks highly of the future NAPS selectee. Fischer was instrumental in assisting Rodriguez as he submitted his application for admission.
His acceptance is quite unique. He is the first Hispanic from New London High School to be accepted into NAPS and eventually the U.S. Naval Academy.
“I think he is an outstanding young man. Based on his JROTC experience, he is very committed to a naval career,” said Fischer.
Rear Adm. Michael McLaughlin, Commander, Submarine Group Two and Capt. Frank Lowery, his chief of staff, met with Rodriguez in April of 2011 to discuss his strong desire to serve the country and his goals. Lowery, who was assigned as Jorge’s Blue and Gold Officer by the Naval Academy Dean of Admissions, is very familiar with his qualifications and credentials.
“He is a hard working and extremely bright young man whose future is unlimited,” said Lowery. “Submarine Group Two wishes him the best success for years to come.”
Rodriguez who exudes a calm humbleness said he was amazed that he was a source of inspiration for others.
“One of my friends came up to me and said I was their inspiration, which really caught me by surprise,” recalled Rodriguez. “I thought I was just another guy doing what he has to do, putting all of my hard work into my acceptance.”
Rodriguez doesn’t shy away from hard work he completed nearly 100 hours of volunteer service while attending New London High School. The school requires all of its students to complete 40 hours.
His hard work has definitely paid off. When asked about his future career plans after NAPS and the U.S. Naval Academy, Rodriguez shared his more lofty goals for the White House.
“Someday after the Navy, I hope to become the president of the United States,” said Rodriguez. “I see that a lot of people look to the president to solve their problems, and the president has a huge responsibility to help solve them. I would like to be able to do that one day. I don’t know how I will do that, but I will find a way.”