After finishing his final exam, grade 12 student and incoming Prefect, Michael Kurp, flew off to participate in the U.S. Naval Academy Summer Seminar. His performance at the six-day event earned him the top award among the 850 others in his session.
Michael, a student from Houston, Texas, attended the seminar in Annapolis, Md., designed to give participants first-hand experience of life at the Naval Academy, one of the most prestigious military academies in the world and ranked among the best engineering universities in the United States.
Earning a spot in the seminar is highly competitive and draws top scholars and athletes from across the country. While at the academy, Michael experienced its academic and physical rigours, including classes in naval weapons, seamanship, physics, and martial arts. The days began at 5 a.m. with physical training led by a former Navy SEAL, followed by academic sessions and naval drills such as an obstacle course and piloting a guided-missile destroyer.
On the final day, participants took part in a nine-hour version of the Navy sea trials that tests candidates’ abilities to withstand physical and mental challenges including diving for rifles, boat races, endurance courses, and non-stop calisthenics.
For his performance over the entire session, Michael was one of five students to receive the “Overall Outstanding Candidate” award for having the “most outstanding performance in all areas of drill, athletics, academics, and leadership in keeping with the moral, mental, and physical missions of the United States Naval Academy.”
“It was an amazing experience,” Michael said. “I was honoured to be selected for the seminar and meet so many talented students. I credit my time at SAC for preparing me both academically and physically for my six days there, especially my triathlon training.”
Michael left Annapolis with a lot of dirty laundry, good memories, and the resolve to pursue an appointment at the Academy, which involves getting a Congressional nomination. Students who obtain admission to the Academy receive a full scholarship to attend, in exchange for five years of service in the U.S. Navy upon graduation.