Hampton senior prepares for Naval Academy
Jake Kocsis has always had a desire to serve others, and this summer he will embark on a journey that in the end will allow him to serve his country.
Kocsis, 18, a senior at Hampton High School, is one of 1,190 students accepted into the freshman class of the United States Naval Academy, in Annapolis, Md., one of the most elite post-secondary institutions in the country.
“I wasn't surprised because he is one of those kids who just shines,” said Marguerite Sciulli, Kocsis' former English teacher and current assistant principal at Hampton High School. “Jake is a hard worker. He's somebody who will constantly try to improve what he's doing … He has the motivation to do more, and I think the Naval Academy saw that.”
Kocsis recognized his desire to serve and protect others as a lifeguard at the Hampton Community Pool. He spent last summer at a weeklong camp at the United States Coast Guard Academy, in New London, Conn., where he got a taste of military life.
“It was a lot of work and a lot of getting yelled at,” Kocsis said. “But on the last day, the cadres let us talk. I felt like I spent a lot of time with them, and they were my friends. It was the sense of camaraderie I really liked.”
He chose the Naval Academy because it incorporated an international aspect, which he also is passionate about.
Kocsis and his family spent two years living in Slovakia where, he said, he developed an appreciation for the privileges he experiences as an American.
“We as Americans are very blessed in the things we can do,” Kocsis said. “It stuck with me. I feel we have a duty to help other people who can't help themselves.”
Kocsis was accepted to the Naval Academy based on an involved application process that included a medical evaluation, physical test and academic credentials as well as multiple outside recommendations from teachers and coaches and a legislative nomination from former U.S. Rep. Jason Altmire.
Kocsis is a member of the National Honor Society and is on the varsity swim team. He also is a member of Jewish Community Center's club swimming team in Squirrel Hill, and Lend Our Hands, a service club at the high school.
Kocsis is president of Model United Nations and treasurer of the Spanish club.
As Kocsis begins to focus on the next stage of his life, he now has added a training regimen with Realize the Athlete Within, or R.A.W. Training, in Hampton, to prepare for the physical challenges of the Naval Academy.
Kocsis will begin his Naval Academy training, known as “plebe summer,” on June 27. The training will last through mid-August.
“I know it's going to be a summer of very little sleep and a lot of yelling, a lot of discipline, but I know I will come out better,” Kocsis said.
Kocsis hopes to major in engineering, and when he graduates, he will be an active duty commissioned officer in the Navy.
“I really want to be in some way in the Armed Forces because I want to give back to the country,” he said.
Bethany Hofstetter is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-772-6364 or email@example.com.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Hartwood Acres 5K to help Indiana Township girl battle rare disorder
- Photo Gallery: Ross Township Community Day
- Pine-Richland Girl Scouts work to make immigrant children feel at home
- Scottish Heritage Day at McCandless church
- Hampton author recruits Pine-Richland students to illustrate book
- North Park event to raise money to help battle diseases
- Photo gallery: Peace festival in North Park