By Bakersfield Life Magazine
Congressman Kevin McCarthy recently nominated four area students to attend U.S. service academies, including a Highland High School student.
The four will have first dibs in enrolling in some of the most prestigious universities with some of the lowest acceptance rates in the country. McCarthy, R-Bakersfield, has called the service academy nominees the "future leaders in our armed services."
Receiving principal nominations were Jibraun Asaad, of Lancaster, to U.S. Air Force Academy; Aidan Farrell, of Paso Robles, to U.S. Naval Academy; Clark Cali, of San Luis Obispo, to U.S. Military Academy, West Point; and Bryan Bumgarner, of Bakersfield, to U.S. Merchant Marine Academy.
Bumgarner attends Highland High, where he is a four-year member of the swim team and president of the Interact Club. His major is undecided, but Bumgarner has a strong interest in mathematics, science and technology, he said.
Nominees are selected after a competitive process from a pool of students in the 22nd Congressional District, which covers parts of San Luis Obispo, Kern and Los Angeles counties.
McCarthy also nominated several competing alternate nominations for each academy, and they are ranked by the selection board, which includes Bakersfield Life editor Olivia Garcia. They will be admitted into the academies at the academy's discretion. Bakersfield high school students selected include:
* U.S. Air Force Academy: Madison Boynton, Frontier High; Natrelle Demison, U.S. Air Force Academy Preparatory School; and Austin Medeiros, Liberty High.
* U.S. Military Academy: David Newton, Stockdale High; and Nathan Scharpenberg, Stockdale High.
* U.S. Naval Academy: Nathan Scharpenberg, Stockdale High; and Prisilla Ybarra, Cal State Bakersfield.
* U.S. Merchant Marine Academy: Andrew Fierro, Bakersfield High; and Prisilla Ybarra, Cal State Bakersfield.
-- Bakersfield Life Magazine