By Sue Botos
When Magnificat High School junior Victoria Meyer didn’t make it into the U.S. Air Force Academy’s Summer Seminar, she didn’t give up on her goal of getting an up-close look at life as a cadet.
Along with her parents, Michelle McGeady and Karl Meyer, Victoria sat down with Lt. Col. Kevin Cukrowicz, local USAFA admissions liaison officer, to brainstorm how she could “up her game” a bit when she eventually applies for admission to the academy.
A few days later, Cukrowicz contacted the family to tell her he would nominate Victoria for the USAFA Diversity Visitation Program, a highly selective course that gives prospective recruits the opportunity to live as a cadet for three days.
When Meyer got the news that she was one of 30 high school juniors to be selected, she admitted that she was surprised. “To be honest, I didn’t know if I was (that) diverse,” she stated in a recent interview.
But as Cukrowicz noted, her academics, character and athleticism, as well as her Arabic language skills, which he said are strategic to the Air Force, made her a good candidate.
Involved in what she calls “quite a handful” of school activities, Meyer is vice president of the junior class, runs cross country and track, and has been a student ambassador for three years. She is also a member of the school book club, and participates in speech and debate.
Meyer stated she was fortunate to be able to take Arabic language classes at school for the past three years. She added that she was heading to Dubai on April 18 as part of the first group of Magnificat students to visit that country.
Recalling her experience at the USAFA in Colorado Springs, Colo., April 8-11, Meyer stated, “It was incredible. The people and the camaraderie were amazing.” She added that her classmates were “motivated and driven.”
Matched with a female junior cadet, Meyer said she shadowed her, going to classes, staying in her room and eating with the cadets. “The ropes course was so fun,” Meyer recalled, adding that the students had tours of the airfield and athletics facility, where she participated in a fitness class. “The abs (abdominal) class was hard because everyone was in such good shape,” she recalled.
Meyer was also able to sit in while the cadet interviewed for a position as a flight commander at the academy.
Although the commute from her home in Columbia Station to school each day takes about 30 minutes, Meyer said the trip is worth it. “I’m looking into a military education because I’ve been so blessed to go to Magnificat and have had so many opportunities. This would be a good way to give back.”
While she noted that traveling the world during a military career would be “mind-blowing,” Meyer stated, “I really want to jump out of airplanes.” Not having had the experience yet, she added, “That’s definitely on my bucket list.” She added that she is considering majors in political science, math or science. “I’d also like to minor in Arabic,” she said, stating that the language is not offered as a major at the academy.
Meyer said that her experience added to her interest in attending the academy, even though she knows it will be tough. “It may not be easy, but it would push me to become the best I can be. I’ll definitely apply and see what happens.”