Summit graduate excited to represent community at West Point
Frisco resident Sophia Henry has had her eyes on West Point since her freshman year at Summit High School.
After talking to a friend who was looking into the Coast Guard Academy at the time, Henry’s interest in academies was officially piqued.
“I started looking into the academies as well and saw West Point as kind of my ideal college,” Henry said. “It offered a diversity of majors and minors and study programs and careers, and it really embodies the lifetime of service that I was hoping to do.”
Henry said she was never particularly infatuated with the military, but it has always intrigued her. She said she saw West Point as an opportunity to combine academics with physical fitness, character and leadership development.
“I’m excited to just continue to challenge myself and pursue my goals and be a part of such a close-knit, tight community,” Henry said. “They call the alumni network The Long Gray Line, and I’ve met some people that have graduated West Point dating back to 1959, and it’s just really cool how they all have this shared common experience that they’re able to relate to.”
Henry said she liked the idea of being with a group of high-achieving peers, knowing that everyone who got into West Point had to work hard to get there.
“It’s such a prestigious school, (and being there) with people that have to work really, really hard to get in would put me in an area of like-minded peers, in the sense that we’re all there for the common goal and we all understand how important being there is,” Henry said. “I just thought it would give me the opportunity to really thrive off of my peers.”
Henry found out she was accepted to West Point on April 17, and she will make her way east to the Hudson River Valley by June 27.
“For someone from such a small town that frankly doesn’t send a lot of people to the East Coast, I think it’s kind of a message and says about Summit that you can go anywhere from growing up here,” Henry said. “It certainly has its challenges and its opportunities, but they’re vast and … you can capitalize on them and really go anywhere.”
Henry plans to study life sciences at West Point on the pre-med track. She said after graduating from West Point she hopes to attend medical school, either at a civilian medical school or through the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences.
Steve Slocum was Henry’s school counselor at Summit High School and helped her through West Point’s lengthy application process.
“She’s a great kid, so it was fun helping her, and she certainly deserves a nomination,” Slocum said. “I’m happy that she gets to go live her dream.”
Slocum said any student interested in attending a military academy has to put a lot of time and effort into the process early in their high school careers since there are so many steps to go through.
“They obviously are looking for well-rounded individuals that are involved in things other than just academics,” Slocum said. “And so, anybody who goes to an academy has really proven to be one of the best of the best.”
In order to attend West Point, students must receive a nomination from their district’s U.S. representative or one of their state’s U.S. senators. Alternatively, they could be nominated by a family member in the military. Students must also go through a medical examination and complete a fitness assessment.
Henry said she was nominated by former Sen. Cory Gardner and Rep. Joe Neguse.
While she prepares to move to the other side of the country, Henry said she finds herself particularly excited to experience the new environment the Hudson River Valley has to offer — especially seeing the area in the fall.
According to Henry, the last person from Summit High School to go to West Point graduated from Summit in 2010, and she’s honored to be representing her community. She said she’s thankful for her many teachers at Summit High School and the Summit community as a whole for helping her dream come true.
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