WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. Max Rogovin wants to fly fighter jets for the U.S. Navy. He is pursuing that goal as a member of the Civil Air Patrol and soon will continue as a participant in the U.S. Naval Academy's Summer Seminar.
Rogovin, a junior at White Plains High School, is one of 2,250 students from across the nation and abroad invited by the U.S. Naval Academy to take part in its summer leadership program for rising seniors.
"It feels awesome," Rogovin said. "It's just an opportunity that you get one shot at. I've been looking forward to it ever since I learned about the academies."
After Rogovin graduates from high school, he hopes to attend the Naval Academy. Through this six-day summer seminar program, Rogovin will get a glimpse of what life as a midshipman at the Naval Academy would be like.
He will participate in daily physical training, academic and leadership workshops as well as seamanship and navigation classes, which will involve taking a cruise aboard a Navy Yard Patrol craft to apply what was learned in class.
"I can't wait to get inside the barracks and get on some of the unique equipment they have at the academy, including the Yard Patrol boats and the ship simulator," Rogovin said.
This past summer, the history buff attended the world's largest air show in Oshkosh, Wis., as part of the Civil Air Patrol, a nonprofit, volunteer organization with 61,000 members nationally that acts as an auxiliary to the U.S. Air Force, according to its website . Founded a week before the attack on Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941, it performs search and rescue by ground and air, and disaster relief, among other services for Westchester.
On March 14, Rogovin was named a cadet officer in the Lt. Anthony L. Willsea Cadet Squadron of the Civil Air Patrol, the first since October 2010, said Capt. Andres Bermudez, its commander and a Mamaroneck resident.
"I'm extremely proud of him," Bermudez said. "He does a lot of hard work for the squadron. He wants to go to the Naval Academy in Annapolis and being a cadet officer gives him a leg up on that."
Rogovin said his experiences with the Civil Air Patrol have been "life-shaping." He hopes the summer seminar and, if he is accepted, four years at the Naval Academy will follow suit.
"I am very grateful for the opportunities I've had in CAP and for the opportunities I hope to receive at the Naval Academy as a midshipman, should I be accepted," he said. "At the Naval Academy, I will get a top-notch education, a job I will enjoy and as a bonus I will get to serve my country. What more could I ask for?"
Student volunteers, ages 12 and up, can join their local CAP. The Westchester CAP meets at the Westchester County Airport, 4 Taxi Lane, on Wednesday nights at 7:30 p.m.
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