Ezvyn Zuniga is a senior at Harlingen High School who has been training physically and academically to attend his dream school: The United States Military Academy at West Point.
“I have a really good military background in my family,” Zuniga said. “I’ve had uncles that have gone to West Point, and my grandfather served in the military as well during WWII.”
Zuniga began the application process during his junior year of high school. The process is highly selective and requires candidates to meet certain requirements specified by public law.
“Last year, I did three sports – track, football, and soccer at the same time,” Zuniga said. “I was in NHS, Robotics, and Engineering Club. I did a lot of clubs. So that kind of helps you stand out. They can see that you can manage your time. Academic accolades like AP Scholar and all that really help too.”
Applicants are evaluated in the areas of academics, leadership potential, and physical aptitude. Candidates must have a nomination to attend the U.S. Military Academy.
“People send out their resume to the congressman, and he is only allowed to hand out a certain number of recommendations for West Point,” Zuniga said. “I was lucky enough to get one of those, and that helped tremendously. It helps out a lot with your application. Right now, I am still in the process. It doesn’t end until January 31. That is when everything gets sent in, but that recommendation from Congressman Vela is a very high achievement.”
Those selected to attend the U.S. Military Academy at West Point receive a fully funded education that includes tuition, room and board, medical and dental benefits, and a salary. Students are guaranteed employment in a leadership position.
Zuniga hopes to major in Mechanical Engineering and minor in Robotics. He shared some advice for other students looking to follow a similar path.
“Don’t give up, finish your school year even through your senior year, and try to be in as many things as you can,” Zuniga said. “It really shows to other people, not just West Point, other colleges too, that you can manage your time.”