The preparatory school is a 10 month program designed to provide an opportunity for 240 young men and women to earn an appointment to the United States Air Force Academy. We focus on academic development, military development, physical fitness development, and character development, and it is all with the goal of our cadet candidates earning an appointment to the United States Air Force Academy the following year.
My very first challenge was not getting accepted to the United States Air Force Academy. On the heels of that, I received my offer to the Air Force Academy prep school. You know, I look back on it now. To me, at the time, it was a no brainer. My father was enlisted, so having an opportunity for his daughter to be an officer, well, he was over the moon.
Diversity is actually a part of our official mission statement. We provide that opportunity for a population who come from a variety of different geographical areas of the United States and territories, who have had different life experiences, who have, perhaps, had different rigor of high school experiences.
You know, even though my father was enlisted in the Air Force, I never wore a uniform. I didn't know how to shine my shoes. There were a lot of things I didn't know. The Air Force Academy Preparatory school did a lot for me in that regard.
So we're situated within the 18,000 acres at the United States Air Force Academy. The courses that we offer here are courses that most of our freshmen and sophomores at the Air Force Academy struggle with. So we go ahead and strengthen their mathematics skills, their science skills, as well as their English skills.
It's difficult not to succeed here. You could walk down to your instructor's office every day, and they're always there, and they're always willing to help. Without that, I don't know where I'd be.
So the prep school's role is to prepare students who may be unprepared in specific areas. Upon completion of the program, if they have done all the things that the prep school has asked them to do in all aspects, they have an opportunity to earn an appointment to the Air Force Academy the following year.
Looking back, if I had gone straight to the Academy, it would have been a lot harder. If I went straight there, who knows if I would've been able to make it, but here, now I can get all the help I need.
And what's really rewarding is to see our cadet candidates up at the Air Force Academy wearing the cadet uniform. They may not have had that opportunity if it wasn't for our program here at the prep school.