On May 22, 612 Auburn High seniors will graduate. Some will immediately enter the work force, and some will start packing their bags for college. For senior Cammy Smith, who has lived in the same house since she was born, the future awaits in West Point, New York.

When Smith found out she had been accepted into the prestigious academy earlier this year, she was speechless.

If you had asked her if she wanted to attend West Point back in the spring or early fall of last year, she would have likely said no.

It wasn’t until Lt. Col. Anthony Benitez, AHS Junior ROTC instructor, and Smith’s mom, Sheryl, gave her a nudge that she decided to consider West Point. A visit to the military academy’s campus last September closed the deal.

“That’s what changed my mind, and I was like, ‘This is where I want to be,’ ” Smith said. “I got to be there for a weekend, follow around another cadet and go to their classes and sleep in their dorms. I got to meet other people from different states, different countries. It was a really nice experience.”

Benitez said he has watched Smith grow during her three years in Junior ROTC — a class she only signed up for as a sophomore because she needed a Physical Education credit. He said she has assumed a leadership position among her peers.

“She is all about being a leader. Seeing her in front of a group of people, you can just tell she has that acumen,” he [Lt. Col. Anthony Benitez] said. “She’s not intimidated, and I think that’s really going to serve her well.”

Read the full article here: https://www.auburnvillager.com/news/auburn-high-senior-to-embark-on-military-career-at-west/article_01c829f0-5451-11e8-93bd-fb6e01edcb3c.html