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Opportunities for service

Nine youths from Clayton nominated for military academies

Jonesboro resident Maria Terrell (left) cried as she talked about how proud she was that her son, Andrew Terrell, was nominated by Congressman David Scott (D-Ga.) for an appointment to the U.S. Air Force Academy. Andrew Terrell is a first generation American, and a student at Charles R. Drew High School.

Jonesboro resident Maria Terrell (left) cried as she talked about how proud she was that her son, Andrew Terrell, was nominated by Congressman David Scott (D-Ga.) for an appointment to the U.S. Air Force Academy. Andrew Terrell is a first generation American, and a student at Charles R. Drew High School.

— Jonesboro resident Maria Terrell thanked the United States for providing a rare opportunity to her son, Andrew Terrell, last weekend.

The youth is a first generation Mexican-American and a student at Charles R. Drew High School.

He may soon also be the first member of his family to attend an American service academy because Congressman David Scott (D-Ga.) formally nominated him for an appointment to the U.S. Air Force Academy on Saturday.

“I want to thank this country,” said Maria Terrell. “As you can tell, my accent is from the ‘Deep South,’ and I just want to thank the United States for giving my son this opportunity.”

Andrew Terrell was one of eight Clayton County Public Schools students and one active duty soldier formally nominated by Scott for a service academy appointment over the weekend. In all, Scott nominated 22 students from his congressional district, which includes parts of Clayton, Cobb, DeKalb, Douglas, Fulton and Henry counties.

“We stand here to push you every inch of the way,” Scott told the nominees.

The other students were nominated were Jonesboro High School student Estrella Curry, North Clayton Comprehensive High School student Adolfo DeGracia, Mundy’s Mill High School students De’Nasia Grayson and Charles Swinney, III, Mt. Zion High School students Shara Hunte and Vivian McDougald and Morrow High School student Javon Walton.

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Curt Yeomans

Congressman David Scott (D-Ga., back row, second from right) formally nominated several Clayton County Public Schools students for appointments to U.S. service academies on Saturday.

Active duty soldier Akiiki Brown, a resident of Hampton, was also nominated.

Brown and Curry were nominated for appointments at the U.S. Military Academy, and Hunte was nominated for a U.S. Naval Academy Appointment. DeGracia, Grayson, McDougald, Swinney and Walton joined Terrell as Air Force Academy nominees.

“I just want to thank everybody that helped me a long the way and pushed me through these four years of high school,” said Grayson, as she expressed shared a sentiment shared by many of the nominees.

But, while Maria Terrell thanked the United States for her son’s nomination, Andrew Terrell said it was his family that deserved the thanks.

“I’d like to thank God and my family for being here and supporting me through all of this,” Andrew Terrell said.