LORENA, Texas — A Lorena High School senior got life-changing news Friday morning in front of friends, family, and his entire school.
Mason Strauch was publicly accepted to West Point Military Academy during a surprise school assembly.
“I just kind of have been shaking. It was an adrenaline rush as soon as they called me” Mason said after the assembly. “I’m relieved now. I was tired of waiting. I’d been waiting for the past seven months. This is what I’ve been working towards and it’s all been worth it.”
The announcement came from Congressman Pete Sessions who met Mason last year when he went through the academy selection process and recommended him to the school.
“Mason is your quintessential patriot,” Sessions said. “He is a young man who has high academic scoring, he is a great student, a great athlete. But his character, he has for all of his life exhibited himself in a manner that would be pleasing but he’s also prepared for the toughness.”
The news was a surprise to Mason, but people who know him best say he was made for this.
“The military academy is getting a great one in Mason,” Lorena HS Principal Kevin Johnson said. “He’s somebody who will make a positive impact in the world after that wonderful education he’ll receive.”
While Mason’s interest in the army started his junior year, he’s always had a passion to serve his community.
“My whole life has revolved around serving others and being of service to my community,” he said. “Serving in the military, I think, is the best way someone can serve their community.”
“He has always enjoyed serving others, doing volunteer work,” his mom, Belina Strauch, said. “He does PALS here at the school, he volunteers with the church and the food pantry. It fits in with what he would do with his life because he enjoys doing those things.”
There’s a lot that goes into being appointed into a school like West Point, which accepts less than 10 percent of the people who apply. The application process includes physical and medical exams, finding a recommendation, and several rounds of interviews. They also look for students with leadership roles in high school and high test scores.
Those who do attend the military school also have to commit to at least five years of service once they graduate.
Written by Alicia Naspretto