U.S. Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-Livermore) hosted a reception last week at Dublin City Hall in honor of the 10 students from his 15th Congressional District who were nominated by his office to attend America’s military service academies.
The high-schoolers recognized included Tri-Valley students Charles Lee, Claire Tsay, Jacob Marnon, Andrew Wang, Lily Holtmeier, Brandon Norton and Yujin Shim. The criteria used to determine the candidates include factors such as academic achievements, leadership ability, extracurricular activities and character, according to Swalwell's office.
"By choosing to attend America's military academies, our young neighbors have chosen to elevate their lives in the service of our nation, to do the right thing, to pursue truth. That, to me, is the definition of patriotism," Swalwell said in a statement ahead of the June 20 ceremony.
"Playing a small role in advancing these young leaders is among the greatest joys of my job," he added. "I'm honored and humbled to be their voice in Congress, and I'm so glad that our community is producing such fine, talented, motivated people."
Local students nominated to attend the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, N.Y. are Lee, Tsay, Marnon, Wang and Holtmeier.
Lee, a graduate of Dougherty Valley High School in San Ramon, is a holder of three California state records in archery and was acknowledged as a USA Water Polo Academic All-American in 2020. He has been active in the American Legion Boys State and the Interact Club at Dougherty Valley.
Tsay attended Amador Valley High School in Pleasanton and was honored as an AP Scholar in 2019, a National AP Scholar with Distinction in 2020 and a National Merit Scholarship Commended Student in 2020.
Marnon went to Dublin High School and was an academic athlete -- making the honor roll from 2018 to 2020 and playing junior varsity football, varsity soccer and weight training. Marnon engaged in the Alameda County Sheriff’s Office Explorer program aiding police officers and helping during community events.
Wang attended Dublin High School and was a part of the Gaels' swim team, winning the California Interscholastic Federation NCS Scholar during the years 2017 to 2020. Wang also taught youth in engineering and sports by being co-president of Promoting Leadership and Aspiring Youth (PLAY).
Holtmeier was a student at California High School in San Ramon and a part of the high school’s water polo and swim teams. In her four years playing water polo, Holtmeier became junior varsity MVP in 2017, varsity Offensive Player of the Year and earned the EBAL All-League Honorable Mention in 2017.
Norton was nominated to attend the U.S. Naval Academy at Annapolis, Md. Norton went to Livermore High School and was the recipient of the Congress of Future Medical Leaders Award of Excellence in 2020 as well as vice president of his senior class. He participated in the Naval Academy Summer Seminar.
Shim is a nominee for the U.S. Air Force Academy at Colorado Springs, Colo. Shim attended Foothill High School in Pleasanton and was a National Merit Scholarship Commended Student recipient in 2020. Her older brother currently attends the Air Force Academy.
The other student nominees outside the Tri-Valley area are Valentin Shatilenko (Hayward), Oumar Diop (Fremont) and Karell Washington (Castro Valley).
The next step for all the nominees is for the academy of the student's choice to make a final decision and send out an offer of admission, according to Swalwell's office.