Rachel Reilly

 Rachel Reilly

Rachel Reilly has been appointed to the United States Air Force Academy and is thrilled.

Reilly, 18, a senior at Valparaiso High School and daughter of Rebecca and William Reilly, will report June 29.

It's a long process to apply for the academy so Reilly started applying her junior year and after many interviews, and nominations she recently found out she was accepted.

"I started thinking about applying my freshman year," Reilly said. "My brother, Patrick, is in the army and i was interested in the schooling part of it."

Reilly said she is very organized and disciplined and feels she is ready for this. She will attend four years of schooling in Colorado and while there will be introduced into the military lifestyle. After graduating from there she will give back five years in the military and will be an officer.

"I want to study cyber operations and maybe cyber security," Reilly said.

Reilly is a cheerleader at Valpo High and enjoys her math and science classes.

Her parents are proud of her but her mom was a little hesitant at first but after visiting the campus her mom feels better about everything.

Why the academy after high school?

"I like to be challenged," she said. "I I know the academy will challenge me both mentally and physically, but it is a huge accomplishment that will be worth it in the long run. There are so many opportunities and benefits to the academy. The experiences I endure there will be unforgettable."

Reilly considers herself a leader and knows that leadership is very important at the academy.

"The appointment completely surprised me because I know how competitive it is to be accepted. I feel honored and am so thankful for the opportunity to attend the Air Force Academy,"Reilly said.

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Annette is Porter County Community Coordinator for The Times. She has been with the paper for 20 years. A resident of Hobart, she graduated from Purdue University with degrees in English and German.