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Determined to serve, Anne Arundel teens reflect on their chosen paths

Thhis month, 17 Anne Arundel County area teenagers arrived at the World War II Memorial near the Naval Academy Bridge. For most, it was the first time they had met, but they all shared a common goal — a desire to serve our country as a member of the U.S. military.

They soon will be heading off to Induction Days at U.S. service academies, at military prep or foundation schools, or to ROTC programs at colleges across the country.

Among those who gathered, three received appointments to the Naval Academy, two to West Point, four to the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy, one to the U.S. Coast Guard Academy, one to West Point's prep school, and six to ROTC programs in Maryland, Virginia, Pennsylvania, Tennessee and California.
Let's meet them.

Noting she wanted to live her life in service of others, St. Mary's graduate Abigail Richardson, 18, of Annapolis, was a two-term class president, Interact Club president, and captain of the cross country and basketball teams. She was nominated by U.S. Rep. John Sarbanes.

University of Tennessee's nursing and ROTC programs are what attracted Annapolis resident Bridget McGee, 17, a St. Mary's graduate. Plus, her brother goes to Tennessee, too. A lacrosse captain, she also ran cross country, was on the swim team and was ranked 50th academically in her class.

Annapolis resident Luke Vaughters, 18, was the captain of the wrestling team all four years of high school at St. Mary's. He also found time to be on the lacrosse, cross country and track and field teams. He wrestled academically, too, taking 10th place academically.

His decision to matriculate at Pennsylvania State University was fueled by his desire to study biomedical engineering and participate in one of the top Army ROTC programs in the country. His father, Douglas Vaughters, who "works tirelessly to be the best in his field and who never settles," inspired the teen.
"I look up to him as motivation to be the top in my field of study," he said. 

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St. Mary’s Parish, a Catholic congregation served by the Redemptorist Order, includes St. Mary’s Church and St. John Neumann Mission Church. St. Mary's Elementary and High School located in downtown Annapolis, Maryland, serve students in grades Kindergarten through 12. Anchored in faith, rooted in tradition, and committed to excellence, our programs build lifelong learners who are servant leaders.
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