Recent St. Paul Catholic High School graduate Jose Silva Jr. has been accepted into the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colo.
Carolyn A.M. Benyshek, the Air Force director of admissions, announced his appointment, effective June 25. Silva, a Southington resident, was a three-sport athlete at St. Paul, contributing to the football, wrestling, and track programs at the school. This past winter, he was named as captain of St. Paul’s wrestling team.
Silva said that he was sure about his interest to attend the academy after a summer seminar on the campus last year, but he wasn’t sure if he wanted to go to the Air Force Academy or the US Naval Academy.
“After that seminar, I knew that I wanted to go,” he said. “I was still on the fence. I didn’t know which academy, but I definitely knew that I wanted to go to one of them.”
It helped that Silva graduated from St. Paul as a summa scholar. He was ranked third out of a class of 109 students with a grade-point average above 98. He scored 29 on the ACT test and wrote three essays, including one that described his handling of adversity to challenges.
Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) notified Silva in a letter dated Oct. 31, 2014 to confirm his nomination.
“The Service Academy Advisory Committee and I take great pride in nominating you,” Murphy wrote in the letter. “There were many outstanding candidates, but your record of academic and personal accomplishments place you in a strong position to excel at the United States Air Force Academy.”
Even with a letter from a US senator, it is not easy to receive an acceptance letter. Only about 1,200 out of 9,700 applicants are awarded appointments.
Silva is in an even rarer class. Two weeks after being accepted into the AF Academy, Silva turned down acceptance into the Naval Academy. He will be leaving for Colorodo Springs, Colo. on Friday, June 12.