‘Power to succeed’

Amelia Watson, a senior at Caprock Academy, has been nominated by a senator and a congressman to attend military academies. Her top choice is the U.S. Naval Academy in Anapolis, Md. She wants to major in Russian and is training physically with a routine of 100 sit-ups and 100 push-ups twice a day.




■ Dante Pestello, Redlands High School, Australia

Nominated to the U.S. Military Academy and U.S. Merchant Marine Academy by U.S. Sen. Mark Udall

Nominated to the U.S. Naval Academy by U.S. Rep. Scott Tipton

■ Jacob Stanton, Fruita Monument High School

Nominated to the U.S. Naval Academy by U.S. Rep. Scott Tipton

Grand Junction:

■ Noah Dennison, Fruita Monument High School

Nominated to the U.S. Air Force Academy, U.S. Military Academy, and U.S. Naval Academy by U.S. Rep. Scott Tipton


■ Lars Knutson, Cedaredge High School

Nominated to the U.S. Air Force Academy by U.S. Rep. Scott Tipton


■ Tristan Littlejohn, Paonia High School

Nominated to the U.S. Military Academy by U.S. Rep. Scott Tipton

Everything Amelia Watson has done for most of her 17 years on this earth has been done with one goal in mind — attending a military academy.

The Caprock Academy senior is getting close to realizing that goal. She recently received nominations to both the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Md., and the U.S. Air Force Academy near Colorado Springs from U.S. Rep. Scott Tipton and another nomination from U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet for the Naval Academy. Two nominations is uncommon, Watson said, but an added bonus she hopes will boost her chances of getting into the Naval Academy, her top choice.

Watson is the first Caprock student ever to receive a military academy nomination and the only girl in western Colorado to get one so far this year. She said she developed a desire to serve in a military branch at a young age, in part because her father, Tom, attended the U.S. Coast Guard Academy in New London, Conn. She fell in love with languages after taking Latin at Caprock starting in eighth grade and wants to major in Russian. She said an affinity for languages is less needed in the Coast Guard than in other branches, which is why she chose not to follow in her father’s exact footsteps.

Fascinated by the camaraderie of a ship’s crew and the possibilities to serve as a foreign area officer or cryptologic linguist, Watson hopes to serve in the Navy or other military branch for a full career. To get there, she has worked hard in school and is physically training for service with a routine of 100 sit-ups and 100 push-ups every morning and every night, plus lots of running.

“I’m running, sleeping or doing homework,” she said.

Watson also is a member of numerous clubs, ranging form Ultimate Frisbee and the National Honor Society to student government and Latin Club. She had to submit her GPA, test scores, and other information, get an interview with a liaison and procure her legislative nominations while applying for the academies. She hopes to hear within the next few months whether she has been accepted to either academy.

“I’ll be sad to leave my life and my friends but it’s much better to try something and fail than not to try at all. I will do everything in my power to succeed,” she said.

Watson’s mother, Melinda, said it will be bittersweet to send off both her children next year. Younger brother Max, 16, is a senior at Caprock as well and has been accepted to Colorado School of Mines and Drexel University in Philadelphia. Still, she said her pride in her children will make empty nesting more of a sweet than bitter experience this fall.

“Annapolis is far but she’s prepared. She’s always wanted to serve,” Melinda Watson said. “I can’t ask her to be less than who she is.”


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