Carter Announces 2020 Service Academy Appointees
(Round Rock, TX) – Representative John Carter announced the 2020 TX-31 United States Service Academy Appointees last week. These students completed a rigorous admissions process, including extensive applications and interviews to earn a nomination from Representative Carter. Once they received a nomination from Rep. Carter, they earned an appointment by the academy of their application.
“One of my greatest honors serving as a congressman is nominating outstanding young men and women to the Military Academies,” said Congressman Carter. “These students work exceptionally hard to earn a prestigious appointment to a Service Academy, and this summer they will embark on a journey only the best and brightest get to experience. I’m exceptionally proud of Texas’ 31st district appointees, and I can’t wait to see them succeed and serve our nation in the future.”
To learn more about the Service Academy nomination process with Rep. Carter’s office, visit his website.
2020 US Service Academy Appointees
Lauren LaDuque, Liberty Hill High School: US Air Force Academy, Colorado Springs, CO
Lauren LaDuque is the daughter of Jason and Tafi LaDuque. She will attend the United States Air Force Academy. She wants to become a pilot. Service Academy appointments are a tradition in the LaDuque family. Lauren’s middle brother received a nomination from Congressman Carter to the United States Air Force Academy and another brother will graduate from the US Coast Guard Academy this year. At Liberty Hill High School, Lauren was active in volleyball and basketball and was a member of FFA. She raised livestock on her family’s cattle ranch and was an active community volunteer. The level of success that she and her siblings have reached is a testament to the strong patriotic core of her family.”
Yasmin Parkar, Cedar Ridge High School/USAFA Prep School: US Air Force Academy, Colorado Springs, CO.
Yasmin Parkar is the daughter of Maisha and Nasir Parkar. She will attend the United States Air Force Academy and play soccer. She has played soccer at the highest high school levels since 2015. Her team placed 2nd in the nation in 2019, and Jasmin led that team as top scorer. Yasmin is an artist of graphite drawings and was an active volunteer at her church on Sundays and summer Bible Camp. One of her recommendation letters said, “As a teammate, player, student, friend, daughter and big sister, you can always depend on Yasmin to give her absolute best. Jasmin is very, very disciplined and intrinsically motivated.” Yasmin attended USAFA Prep School before her nomination and appointment.
Orlando Loveras, Westwood High School/Boston College: US Air Force Academy, Colorado Springs, CO
Orlando Loveras is the son of Soyoung and Abe Choi. He will attend the United States Air Force Academy. At Westwood High School, he was in the top 1% of his class, was considered a fencing expert and competed at the national level in his sport. He is a professionally rated fencing referee and says he loves both the physical and mental challenges of the sport. He won national AFJROTC awards and held several leadership positions in the organization. After high school, Orlando went to Boston University as a Presidential Scholar. Orlando credits his Mom with lessons learned about perseverance, determination and commitment.
Kasarah Hernandez, Cedar Ridge High School/USAFA Prep School: US Air Force Academy, Colorado Springs, CO
Kasarah Hernandez is the daughter of Deborah DeYoung and David Hernandez. She will attend the United States Air Force Academy. At Cedar Ridge High School, she participated in Track and Field, Pole Vault, and High Jump. She was a competitive gymnast for 10-years, winning State and National Championships and is a Level 9 athlete in the United States Gymnast Program. She spent a minimum of 20 hours a week during the school year and 35 hours daily during the summer training in gymnastics. Despite her extensive training schedule, she managed to earn National Honor Society awards all four years of high school. Last year, when Kasarah did not receive an appointment from her nomination from Congressman Carter, she visited the colleges recruiting her for a Division I Athletic Scholarship as her back-up plan. But, Kasarah’s goal was to become a pilot, so she accepted a USAFA Preparatory School scholarship and this year earned a nomination and appointment.
Caleb Self, Salado High School: US Military Academy, West Point, NY
Caleb Self is the son of Nate and Julie Self. He will attend the United States Military Academy. He dreamed of an appointment to the US Military Academy after his first visit to West Point’s Trophy Point overlooking the famous view of the Hudson River. His father is a West Point graduate. Caleb was a unique four-sport varsity athlete at Salado High School; active in football, baseball, basketball and golf. He was Team Captain in three varsity sports while maintaining a 99.4 GPA. He took Duel Credit supplemental courses, was a delegate to Texas Boy State and a member of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes. At Salado High School, he was active in community volunteer projects at Peaceable Kingdom and McLane Children’s Hospital.
Dylan Robinson, Cedar Park HS: US Military Academy, West Point, NY
Dylan Robinson is the son of David and Della Robinson. He received a double nomination from Congressman Carter to the United States Military Academy and the United States Naval Academy and was awarded an appointment to both academies. Dylan will attend USMA-West Point. He was an AP Scholar, played football and was Football Team Captain in 2019. Dylan was named an AP Scholar with Distinction. He was a four-year letterman in wrestling and a regional tournament qualifier. He was appointed as the only youth member of the Triumphant Love Lutheran Church Pastoral Hiring Committee for two years. Dylan is a Tang Soo Do martial art student, achieved the second-degree black belt, and has been a sparring state champion. His father is a Navy Veteran.
Nana Owuraku Sarpong, Leander High School: US Military Academy, West Point, NY
Nana Sarpong is the son of Afua Asare and Manasseh Sarpong. He will attend the United States Military Academy. He comes from a military family and was enrolled in three different high schools in three different cities before graduation: Westlake High School, Colleyville-Heritage High School, and Leander High School. Multiple moves did not stop him from performing well in academics or sports. He made the varsity football team at Leander High School and was considered a gifted swimmer. He is a certified lifeguard and swimming instructor and is trained in Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) and Automated External Defibrillator (AED). A teacher wrote in his recommendation letter, “Nana is both the hardest working student I have ever taught and one of the kindest.”
Ethan Leonovich, Annapolis Area Christian School, Severn, MD: US Military Academy, West Point, NY
Ethan Leonovich is the son of Alex and Gretchen Leonovich. He will attend the United States Military Academy. He was enrolled at Memorial Christian Academy, Killeen, TX; and the Central Texas Christian School, Temple, TX before his active-duty father was reassigned and he moved to Maryland. He graduated from Annapolis Area Christian Preparatory Private School where he was deeply involved in the evening and Sunday worship teams. He earned Eagle Scout with Bronze Palms and held numerous scouting leadership positions. Ethan won the Distinguished Christian Student Academic award and achieved A-Honor Roll status in all quarters at three different high schools. Ethan qualified and competed in USA Swimming Championships, ran track and cross country, and placed first in the US Kinetic Multisport Northeast Sprint Triathlon Championship. He is a certified Red Cross Lifeguard and Boy Scout Life Saver. Ethan participated in week-long Mission trips to the Dominican Republic.
Zachary Shaver, Salado High School/Greystone Preparatory School: US Military Academy, West Point, NY
Zachary Shaver is the son of Joshua and Christie Shaver. He will attend the United States Military Academy. He has traveled the world as a military dependent and attended twelve different schools before his high school graduation at Salado High School. In high school, he had a 4.0 grade point average, and attended Texas Boys State. Zachary was a three sport Varsity Athlete in basketball, football, and track and field and earned district, region and state athletic honors. He was a member of the Salado High School District Championship football team. Zachary was heavily involved in community service and church activities during high school. When he did not earn the appointment to West Point after high school graduation, he enrolled at the Greystone Preparatory School, Kerrville as one of only 40 recipients to receive an USMA Association of Graduates Scholarship.
Sarah Hopkins, Saint John Paul the Great Catholic High School, Dumfries, VA: US Naval Academy, Annapolis, MD
Sarah Hopkins is the daughter of Christopher and Mary Ann Hopkins. She was awarded a double nomination to the United States Military Academy and the United States Naval Academy from Congressman Carter and was awarded appointments to both academies. Sarah will attend the US Naval Academy. Sarah was inducted into the Math, Science, Spanish, and the English National Honor Societies and earned the Girl Scouts Gold Award. She is active in the Catholic Church, served as a lector at weekly Mass and youth program leader. Sarah began swimming at age five and was a competitive swimmer during middle and high school. She swims with several swim clubs year-round and found time to coach younger swimmers. She was Captain of her Swim Team. Sarah says,” there is nothing like jumping into frigid water every day to build strong grit and determination valuable at the academy.”
Riley Perry, Harker Heights High School: US Naval Academy, Annapolis, MD
Riley Perry is the daughter of Henry and Julia Perry. She will attend the United States Naval Academy. She has attended 13 different schools in six states, moved nine times and somehow made the honor roll in all four years of high school. Riley was selected as an Ambassador at the Texas Bioscience Institute early Stem High School where she earned a college associates degree before graduation. Riley earned AB Honor Roll in all four years of high school. She is an award-winning varsity soccer player and was named Defensive Player of the Year. Her teammates selected her as Varsity Team Captain. Riley plays the French horn in the Symphonic Band at Harker Heights High School. She attended the American Legion Auxiliary Bluebonnet Girls State. She was a vacation Bible School teacher in two of the states she lived in and is a certified lifeguard. Her father is a West Point graduate and her brother will be graduating from West Point in 2021.
Evan Johnson, Westwood High School: US Merchant Marine Academy, Kings Point, NY
Evan Johnson is the son of Andrew and Cynthia Johnson. Multiple generations of his family have served in the US Armed Forces. He earned an Engle Scout rank and held multi leadership positions in the Boy Scouts of America. He participated in the Philmont Scout ranch, 200-mile Rayado Summer Treks; and led a 10-member crew on an 84-foot schooner that sailed through the Florida Keys. Evan was an academic honor student during all four years of high school at Westwood High. He was Lacrosse team Captain and led the team as a goalie, was a member of the marching band, and traveled extensively in the US and overseas. He and his family have enjoyed backpacking at multiple National and State Parks, ranches and reservations.
US Military Academy Prep School Scholarships
Caroline Meadows, Hutto High School: US Naval Academy Prep School Scholarship Recipient
Caroline Meadows is the daughter of Tim and Christina Meadows. She earned academic and athletic honors in all four years of high school. She is a four-year varsity soccer player and two-year varsity basketball player. Caroline is a certified soccer referee. Caroline actively participates at Grace Lutheran Church with elderly worship assistance, as a youth leader at vacation bible school, and with fundraising for critically ill church members. She is one of the youngest lay assistant ministers. Her father, sister and grandfather served in the Navy.
Tristen Burton, Holland High School: US Air Force Academy Prep School Scholarship Recipient at Georgia Military College
Tristen Burton is the son of Jeffrey and Marjorie Burton. He wants to fly jet aircraft. Over 16 members of Tristen Burton’s family members served in the military. He was named outstanding student in ten different academic disciplines at Holland High School. Tristen was a member of the Holland High School Band and was drum line leader. He was a five-sport athlete: baseball, track, basketball, football and cross country and was selected Team Captain by his cross-country team. He advanced to regional competitions in four of his five sports and competed at the state level in cross country. Tristen set a personal goal to break a five-minute mile by his senior graduation and accomplished it. In high school, he earned twenty-four college credits in the Early Admissions Program at Temple College