Thomas Rufino has been dreaming about a career in the military since he was 12-years old.
This summer, his dream will be one step closer to becoming a reality.
Rufino, a junior at Cardinal Spellman High School and Morris Park resident, has been invited by the U.S. Naval Academy to attend the Naval Academy Summer Seminar program this year.
The U.S. Naval Academy, located in Annapolis, MD, is a prestigious four-year college in the naval that prepares midshipmen mentally and physically to be professional officers in the naval service.
All midshipmen are on full scholarship and have a choice of 23 different majors.
Only about 2,250 young men and women from around the U.S. and abroad are chosen each year to attend the summer seminar.
The program, which is required for students who are considering applying to the academy, will teach perspective applicants about life at the Naval Academy.
Each student will attend a six-day session and experience a glimpse of USNA life.
Students will also participate in daily physical training, workshops covering subjects from information technology to oceanography to history, math and meteorology.
Rufino will also have the opportunity to take seamanship and navigation classes and will take a cruise aboard the Navy Yard Patrol Craft to apply the skills he learns in class.
“It’s very exciting, getting this opportunity,” Rufino said. “It’s something I’ve always wanted to do. I always wanted to have a career in the military.”
Rufino, who also plays lacrosse at Spellman, will be the first in his family to have a career in the U.S. military.
Rufino said he is not sure if he wishes to have a career specifically in the Navy, but definitely in the military.
Linda Rufino, Thomas’ mother, said she couldn’t be more proud of his accomplishment.
“I am very excited for him,” Linda said. “This is something he has always wanted to do, this is just another step towards his goal.”
Rufino has already applied to West Point and Annapolis, but still has to send both schools his SAT and ACT scores.
Rufino will find out where he has been accepted sometime during the following school year.