Linnea Henshaw is headed to the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, MD. next year. The International Baccalaureate student was pursued by the Coast Guard Academy and had a congressional recommendation for the Air Force Academy, but she thinks there are more varied opportunities in the Navy.
“There are more educational opportunities, and more chances for advancement. In the Navy, you can be a pilot, you can be on a ship, or you can be in the Marines,” Henshaw said. I have always wanted to help people. It has been a goal of mine. It is such an honor to serve your country, and get an education at the same time. In an academy, your career is set. You know what you are going to do.”
Henshaw was one of only 1200 appointments out of 20,000 applicants to the academy, where a four-year full ride is worth $460,000. She visited Annapolis for six days during a summer seminar to get a taste of academy life, which included exercising, eating and sleeping with the midshipmen.
“It was like a mock indoctrination, including a naval tradition called “table salt,” where we had to memorize answers to strange questions like “How’s the Cow?” The campus was absolutely beautiful. On the outside the buildings were dated 1845, but inside, they had top-of-the-line fully equipped classrooms, ship simulators, wind tunnels.”
Henshaw’s three grandparents were in the Air Force, but her parents were not in the military. She says she is pretty nervous about getting used to the military, and the fact that only 27% of the academy’s students are women. But she isn’t nervous about the academics. She has a weighted grade point average of 4.83, ranked sixth in her senior class. She is the president of the North Robotics team, writes and edits for the school newspaper, is vice president of the Spanish Club and has played varsity volleyball for four years. She has also been a life guard and taught water safety and swim lessons at the Encanto Pool.