Following a thorough consideration of applications by his independent advisory board, Congressman Jim Langevin (D-RI) has nominated two high school seniors from Rhode Island’s Second Congressional District to enter the nation’s prestigious service academies. Per the board’s recommendations, Langevin awarded the honors to Nina Yu of Toll Gate High School for the U.S. Military Academy at West Point and Sam Finneran of North Kingstown High School for the U.S. Air Force Academy.
The advisory committee, which Langevin created during his first year in Congress to ensure a robust review of all applicants, is made up of local veterans of the Academies and educators. They conduct interviews with each candidate and examine school records, College Board scores, extracurricular activities and other qualifications. The Congressman can select one applicant as his “principal nomination” to each branch. Additional qualified individuals will receive nominations that allow them to compete for the Academies’ other available appointments. All residents of the Second District between the ages of 17 and 23 are eligible to apply. Next year’s submissions are due by the end of October 2013.
“Congratulations to Nina and Sam for earning these appointments through their hard work and outstanding performances in and outside of the classroom,” said Langevin. “I am always impressed by the high volume of quality applications we receive from students eager to serve their country and our youth never fail to give me great faith in our future. I thank the representatives on my advisory board for their diligence and commitment to ensuring a transparent process for making these extremely difficult decisions.”
A resident of Warwick, Nina Yu has excelled academically, athletically and musically at Toll Gate High School, while also showing a commitment to community service. She has attained High Honor Roll every year, has received the prestigious Harvard Book Award as a junior, and has been a member of the National Honor Society. As captain of her school’s team, Nina was named to the Warwick all-city swim team last year and demonstrated her desire to use her talents to help others by becoming a swim instructor for young kids at Envious Swimming in Warwick. Similarly, as the flute sectional leader in the school band and a Rhode Island All-State Musician, she has tutored other students on the instrument. Last summer, Nina volunteered at Kent County Hospital and she hopes to have a career in the medical profession after attending West Point.
Sam Finneran has consistently achieved at the highest level as a student at North Kingstown High School, while also demonstrating a passion for service. Regularly taking Advanced Placement level courses, he has qualified for the National Honor Society, through which he participates in projects to benefit the community. In addition, he is a leader in NKHS’s Junior States of America group that debates current events and political issues. As his school band’s first chair bassoonist, Sam won eight awards at the 2012 New York City Heritage Festival. Outside of school activities, Sam has attained the Royal Rangers’ Bronze and Silver Medals of Achievement, recognizing his commitment to the group’s principles, including discipleship, leadership and service.