Congressmember Dan Donovan on Friday, February 23 presented 18 outstanding southern Brooklyn and Staten Island students with certificates in honor of their nominations to U.S. military service academies after a grueling application process.
“It’s a privilege to nominate hardworking and talented students from our district to the U.S. service academies. This year’s selection of candidates was truly exceptional. Each nominee displayed the principles expected of our service members: strength, respect and determination,”said Donovan. “Their patriotism and commitment to serving our country is honorable, and I know their futures are without limit. I also want to recognize and thank the review committee, especially Robert Scamardella, who chaired the group, for their dedication and willingness to help.”
Donovan awarded seven nominations to the U.S. Military Academy, 10 to the U.S. Naval Academy, two to the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy and one to the U.S. Air Force Academy. Among them were Joshua Maldonado and Ari Paloumbis of Xaverian High School, Samuel Vagner of Brooklyn Technical High School and Victor Marzano of Poly Prep Country Day School.
The ceremony took place on Staten Island at the SSG Michael Ollis VFW, a facility named for a local hero Army staff sergeant who stepped in front of a suicide bomber in Afghanistan to save a polish soldier. Ollis’ parents attended the event and addressed its honorees.
Student nominees were reviewed by a committee of local Staten Island and Brooklyn representatives, including educators, veterans and other stakeholders. They must still earn admission to the service academy for which they were nominated.