Courtesy of the Tibbetts family
Trenton Tibbetts, who is headed to the US Naval Academy in Annapolis this summer after graduating from O'Dea, is seen here showing his cousin Trevor how to navigate a boat last summer.

5th generation West Seattleite accepted to US Naval Academy

For many high school seniors on the verge of graduation, the summer of 2013 will be a time to relax before that next step, whatever it may be.

For O’Dea High School senior and West Seattle native Trenton Tibbetts, however, relaxation is out of the equation as he prepares for Plebe Summer, the US Naval Academy’s version of boot camp.

Trenton has been accepted into the esteemed Naval Academy in Annapolis after years of hard work and preparation, be it in academics, sports or public service. Anyone affiliated with the Kenney elder care facility likely knows Trenton’s face: he’s been volunteering there since his freshman year on a regular basis.

His acceptance is a source of validation and pride for Trenton’s parents, James and Cynthia Tibbetts. In the words of his father, “His mother and I feel honored to be his parents and are very proud of his accomplishments and his heart to serve our great nation. We know Trenton loves people and will be an asset to our country.”

Trenton said applying to the USNA came about by chance when his parents met a retired naval captain at a local pub. One conversation led to another and that captain became Trenton’s mentor in applying for the academy.

Regardless of which school he would attend, Trenton said “I knew once I got to high school everything counted so my mindset was always to do the best that I could do because I knew it would ultimately affect what college I would get into, and what job I would get … so I was always looking to the future.

“That’s how I’ve tried to live my life: prepare for my future and let the Lord direct my path.”

Trenton medaled twice at state in wrestling and will graduate with a sky-high GPA this spring.

Showing that a little humor can live side-by-side with impressive determination, he said, “I played freshman football, but being a 125-pound freshman going up against 250-pound guys that walk the halls of O’Dea wasn’t really my thing. So I decided to go against people my own size and checked out wrestling.”

Starting now, Trenton is working out a harsh eight week regiment to prepare himself for the Plebe Summer boot camp at USNA, where everyday citizens transition into midshipmen. While other college brochures advertise summer acclimation as an opportunity to meet new people, saunter around the beautiful campus and slowly transition into a life of higher education, the USNA takes a slightly different approach.

From their brochure, explaining the process after Induction Day: “For the next seven weeks, you start your days at dawn with an hour of rigorous exercise and end them long after sunset, wondering how you will make it through the next day.”

Trenton, who looks forward to those long days and serving his country, said, “It is an amazing and exciting feeling knowing that I am headed for Annapolis. I know that my adventure is just beginning and I am looking forward to the ride. I eagerly await all the friendships, experiences, and skills that I will acquire. I will serve our great country well.”

We asked Trenton what makes the United States so great.

“Number one, in my opinion, is the freedoms we have unlike any other country in the world. The freedom to worship as you please, the rights that we are given by the constitution. Those ideas, in my opinion, are inspired by God and people have never been governed the way our people are governed.

“The value we have for human dignity is beautiful here.”

Trenton Tibbetts ships off for Annapolis in June unsure of what his major will be, but if the drive he’s exhibited so far in life is any indication, whatever path he chooses will work out just fine.

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