Two recent Pleasanton high school graduates were among six students nominated this year by Congressman Eric Swalwell (D-Dublin) to attend U.S. service academies.
Rohit Menon from Amador Valley High will be attending the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Md., while Foothill High grad Matthew Kim will attend the U.S. Air Force Academy near Colorado Springs, Colo.
They were joined by four other nominees selected from Swalwell's 15th Congressional District.
"This diverse group of young men and women represents the best of California’s 15th Congressional District: They are leaders in their schools and communities who are eager to apply their amazing talents and skills to the service of our nation," Swalwell said after a reception held in their honor Saturday in Dublin.
Students who attend a service academy are required to serve in the military for at least five years after graduating. Swalwell's nominations for the academies, according to the congressman's office, were based holistically on students' academic achievements, extra-curricular activities, leadership skills, physical aptitude, character and motivation.
Swalwell's selection panel consisted of veterans and distinguished community members from the 15th District, whom he thanked at the Saturday event.
From Pleasanton, Menon, 17, is a track-and-field athlete who earned a varsity letter all four years of high school. He also received an All-American Bronze Medal in the 4x100 relay at the 2016 USA Track and Field Junior Olympics, and was a North Coast Section track-and-field finalist for three consecutive years in high school.
Off the track, Menon was named a National Merit Scholarship semifinalist and competed nationally and at the state level for his school's mock trial and speech and debate teams. He enjoys playing the piano and digital music production.
Kim, 18, is the city's other nominee. He served as captain of Foothill's varsity swim and water polo teams, along with taking part in the school's marching band, playing clarinet, piano and tuba.
During high school, Kim founded his own company, Shard Designs, which manufactures portable sketching tools. He crowdsourced over $25,000 for design and manufacturing costs, and so far has sold 1,500 tools. He will join his sister already attending the Air Force Academy in Colorado.
Other local honorees were Amir Udler and Victor Wang from San Ramon, Isabella Adamos from Dublin and Bianca Greer from Hayward.
"Just as these students have earned reputations for their determination and success, the United States Service Academies have earned reputations for building character and academic excellence," Swalwell said. "I know Bianca, Amir, Rohit, Victor, Isabella and Matthew will give this challenge their all, and be great assets to our armed services."